|We've got NEWS|
|Monday, August 16, 1999 |
Tommy G. Thompson
News Media Contact
MADISONThe Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today announced that it will launch a Youth Apprenticeship program in Production Agriculture this fall.
Wisconsin will be the first state in the nation to implement a youth apprenticeship program for production agriculture, to help meet the demand for skilled workers in Wisconsins agricultural industry. Governor Thompson, in 1998, directed the state Departments of Agriculture, Public Instruction and Workforce Development to work together to create the agriculture youth apprenticeship program for Wisconsin.
"Agriculture is big business in Wisconsin, and it is an industry that is vital to Wisconsins future," said Mark Liedl, DWD Executive Assistant. "In the 21st Century, a strong back and a willingness to work hard wont be enough to succeed in farming. To build the next generation of successful Wisconsin farmers, we need to provide our young people with the skills and training theyll need to compete effectively in the national and international marketplace."
Wisconsins Youth Apprenticeship program combines academics with on-the-job skill training that allows high school juniors and seniors to combine classroom learning with mentored learning at local businesses and industries. Students attend classes and apply what they are learning in a place of business during a typical school day. Students are paid at least minimum wage and receive a regular high school diploma.
After successful completion of the requirements for a high school diploma and the youth apprenticeship program, graduates receive a skill certificate from the Department of Workforce Development and are eligible to receive advanced standing credits from a Wisconsin Technical College.
Students enrolled in the Production Agriculture Youth Apprenticeship will have the option to follow a curriculum in either animal science or soils and crops. The animal science youth apprenticeship will focus on dairy and livestock production while the soils and crops curriculum will emphasize crop production. The youth apprenticeship curriculum is based on state and national industry skill standards.
Over 50 students will enroll in the statewide program this fall, and DWD expects the program to involve over 200 students and businesses by 2001. Approximately 50 businesses will employ the youth apprentices this year and will provide the students with at least 900 hours of work-based instruction.
Governor Thompson created Wisconsins youth apprenticeship program in 1992, modeled after the German apprenticeship programs. In 1992, 21 students worked as youth apprentices in the printing industry. Today 1,533 students are youth apprentices in 18 key industry areas in fields such as auto technology, printing, architectural drafting, financial services and tourism. Over 900 state businesses provide training to youth apprentices in 365 school districts. The Governors budget proposes expanding the program to 5,000 youth apprentices.