COVID-19 Emergency Policy Change
Youth Apprenticeship 2019-2020 Program Operations

To provide flexibility for stakeholders, to reduce the burden on YA consortia, and to provide options for students to complete their 2019-2020 YA program amid the COVID-19 Health Emergency, the Department of Workforce Development has implemented revised minimum completion requirements and FAQ guidance for the school year.

DWD has reduced the required concurrent work during related instruction by 25% from 250 hours to 180 hours, which students with a September start date have received, and reduced the requirement of 450 hours by 25% to a minimum of 338 hours for a Level 1 YA Certificate or a minimum of 788 hours for a Level 2 Certificate. This allows students to effectively have completed the 2019-2020 year as early as March 18, 2020. While decisions for locally developed WBL programs remain at the discretion of the school board, the following information from DPI is provided to be considered in connection with the Graduation Requirements, Grading, and Class Promotion guidelines issued on March 26, 2020.

Recap of Minimum Requirements:

As of March 18, 2020, Youth Apprenticeship junior and senior students who were registered with YA for the 2019-2020 school year will be considered successful completers if they:

  • met a minimum of 338 for Level 1, or 788 for Level 2, hours of work-based learning, and
  • at a minimum, have completed one full semester plus nine weeks of the second semester of YA related instruction.

Students that have not achieved these minimums have the choice to continue to accrue hours when the Safer at Home order is lifted and over the summer up until September 30, 2020.

Regional YA Coordinators will have until October 31, 2020 (one-month extension), to complete end of year completion documentation. Options for closing out a student remain the same as other years. Those options in the Youth Online Data Application (YODA) are:

  • Terminate the student if they have not met the revised number of hours and/or the student (or other local stakeholder) has determined discontinuation in the program.
  • Complete the usual checklist, secure employer signature next to the hours worked in the "Company Name" section and upload.

Youth Apprentice completion confirmation for the COVID-19 2019-20 students will be documented through the number of work-based learning hours. This is a concession to the standard requirement that a student's completion is documented through their work-based learning hours and their YA employer/mentor verifying they have successfully demonstrated the required program competencies. Due to the nature of apprenticeship, where you are exposed to a concept, trained on it and then work towards being competent in that area, a student's competency may be measured multiple times during the year. Some students reach the competent level sooner than others. Stating a set number of competencies that need to be complete by the March 18, 2020 date may not apply to all. Therefore, the COVID-19 student checklists will utilize the time-based concept as the primary driver for this year only.

Time based confirmation shall be documented by signature of the YA employer on the checklist next to the "Total Hours Employed" in the "Company Name" section.

Regional YA coordinators are responsible for the facilitation of decisions made by the major stakeholders.

Frequently Asked Questions

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To provide flexibility and to allow more options for students to successfully complete the YA 2019-20 school year, DWD has reduced the number of work hours and instructional hours required for YA program completion as follows:

As of March 18, 2020, Youth Apprenticeship junior and senior students who were registered with YA for the PY2019-2020* school year will be considered successful completers if they:

  • meet a minimum of 338 for Level 1 (L1), or 788 for Level 2 (L2), hours of work-based learning, and
  • at a minimum have completed one full semester plus nine weeks of the second semester of YA related instruction.

In addition, all students will have until September 30, 2020 to complete the revised minimum requirements and Regional Coordinators will have until October 31, 2020 to submit checklists.

Some students may be temporarily paused from work/school due to the COVID-19 Safer at Home order. For those YA students, no action is necessary to keep them registered in the program. Students may work with their school/employer/Regional Coordinator and choose to remain in the program and return to work when the Safer at Home order is lifted, to complete work hours.

Related instruction may continue to be made available through the school for those students who have not met the revised minimum instruction as noted above.

Regional Coordinators will have two options, as usual, in the Youth Online Data Application (YODA) for PY2019-2020:

  1. Terminate the student if they have not met the revised number of hours or related instruction, or
  2. Complete the usual checklist, secure employer signature next to the hours worked in the "Company Name" section and upload.

*Revised minimum requirements will apply to the 2019-20 school year only.

Governor Evers closed Wisconsin public schools at 5 pm on March 18th. "This order applies to any type of pupil instruction or extracurricular activity that occurs in a school building or on school grounds." The work-based portion of the YA program does not happen on school grounds, unless the school is also the YA employer. If the employer is allowed to stay open and the YA student wants to continue working and the parents agree, there is no legal reason for them not to work. The YA coordinator is responsible to ensure oversite at the workplace.

It is the YA coordinators responsibility to facilitate discussions between stakeholders to determine if the situation is a temporary pause or if the student is terminating from the program.

Even though the school is not physically "in session," the DWD would consider a school to be in session when it is conducting e-learning. The school district can inform employers that work during the instructional hours is unlawful, and can report employers that are refusing to release students from work to the Equal Rights Division for enforcement action.

Employers with 50 or more employees in the state must provide 60 days’ notice to any affected employees, retirees, or their dependents, when they decide to cease providing health care benefits.

This provision applies to situations where employers completely eliminate their entire package of health care benefits for broad categories of workers or retirees. It does not apply to employment termination of individuals or to modifications of continuing plans.

Governor Evers has stated "workers providing essential care or services in our communities" — a category that includes health care professionals, grocers and family caregivers — "will be allowed to continue to travel to and from work" this may include youth apprentices who are employed in an industry that is, itself, essential. There are no Executive Orders directly addressing a prohibition on youth or youth apprentices working.

Yes, 18-year-old YA students are legally an adult. Employers may not release information about adult employees without consent from that employee.

Notify the DWD Youth Apprenticeship Program staff of your student's interest in bridging into a Registered Apprenticeship program by Emailing the DWD YA web mailbox at ya@dwd.wisconsin.gov. In the Email provide student's name, along with the name of their school, YA program of enrollment, and RA program of interest.

Yes, the Post Program Completion Survey is still required. Per the Program Operations Manual, Checklists and Post Program Completion Surveys are to be completed 90 days after the student's graduation date. Due to the COVID-19 Emergency Policy Changes, students have until September 30, 2020 to complete the program under the emergency procedure. Coordinators have until October 31, 2020 to submit completion paperwork to include the Post Program Completion Survey and Checklists.

Yes, checklists should be filled in as complete as possible. Youth Apprentice completion confirmation for the COVID-19 2019-2020 students will be documented through the number of work-based learning hours only versus the hours and a set number of the competencies being checked off. Due to the COVID-19 Emergency Policy Changes students have until September 30, 2020 to complete the program under the emergency procedure.

No other additional adjustments are planned. All YA consortium performances are being impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Reducing the PY2019-20 program minimum requirement levels should not only help consortium students complete the program, but will allow for higher program completion rates in Wisconsin.

Options for closing out a student remains the same as previous years. Those options in the Youth Online Data Application (YODA) system are:

  • Terminate the student if they have not met the revised number of hours and/or the student (or other local stakeholder) has determined discontinuation in the program.
  • Complete the usual checklist, secure employer signature next to the hours worked in the "Company Name" section and upload.

Youth Apprentice completion confirmation for the COVID-19 2019-20 students will be documented through the number of work-based learning hours. This is a concession to the standard requirement that a student's completion is documented through their work-based learning hours and their YA employer/mentor verifying they have successfully demonstrated the required program competencies. Stating a set number of competencies that needs to be complete by the March 18, 2020 date may not apply to all. Therefore, the COVID-19 student checklists will utilize the time-based concept as the primary driver for this year only.

Time based confirmation shall be documented by signature of the YA employer on the checklist next to the "Total Hours Employed" in the "Company Name" section.

Reminder: Regional YA Coordinators will have until October 31, 2020 (one-month extension), to complete end of year completion documentation.