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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD Secretary Newson Joins Education, Workforce Partners to Highlight New Youth Apprenticeship Curriculum in Architecture and Construction

KIMBERLY – During a visit today to Kimberly High School, Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Reggie Newson highlighted the rollout this fall of an expanded Youth Apprenticeship (YA) training pathway that specializes in construction trades and was designed to fill employers' current needs for skilled workers.

The expansion to the YA's current Architecture and Construction program delivers training for high school junior and seniors in five skilled construction trade pathways: General Carpentry, Electrical, Masonry and Concrete, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Plumbing/Sprinkler Fitting. High schools across Wisconsin are utilizing the curriculum which was made available this fall. Kimberly High School is one of six high schools launching the curriculum as an Architectural, Construction and Engineering (ACE) Academy.

"Wisconsin's Youth Apprenticeship program allows high school students to explore high-demand careers and is nationally recognized as a successful model," Secretary Newson said. "Youth Apprenticeship has experienced a significant increase in state funding under Governor Walker's leadership and is part of his agenda to develop Wisconsin's workforce and prepare the current and future generation of workers to obtain the skills training needed for jobs that employers need to fill. The new construction training pathways we are highlighting today were created in response to Wisconsin employers' needs for workers who have these skills."

“This program represents a proven education model which focuses on providing real services for youth and builds on true collaborations with partner agencies, professions and the community”, said Tania Kilpatrick, Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator at the Oshkosh-based Cooperative Educational Services Agency (CESA) 6, which is a lead agency on the new curriculum. "This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to obtain skills they can use right after graduation and credits that they can transfer into their post-secondary plan. This is a great opportunity for them to receive real world training that they wouldn't receive anywhere else while assisting our workforce partners in filling critical employment gaps."

Wisconsin Fast Forward-Blueprint for Prosperity Grant

To complement the program and build skilled trade labor capacity, the CESA 6 Building Innovation in Construction Trades project earlier this year was awarded a $57,150 grant through Governor Walker's Wisconsin Fast Forward – Blueprint for Prosperity initiative. The initiative targets worker training funds at several key areas, including innovative school-to-work programs.

The grant will support the connection between education, labor organizations, businesses and community support agencies to provide up to 52 youth in six participating high schools with industry exposure and training. Participating high schools include Burlington, Fond du Lac, La Crosse, Marshfield and Tomah in addition to Kimberly. Youth enrolled in the program receive classroom instruction with mentored, on-the job training in the construction industry. Students who successfully complete training will receive OSHA 10 and First Aid certifications - both industry-recognized credentials – and will be provided job placement opportunities at eight local businesses.

One of the partners in the Kimberly program is the Association of General Contractors (AGC).

"The AGC of Wisconsin and its members look forward to launching the Youth Apprenticeship in Construction this fall with students around the state," said Laura Cataldo, Director of Workforce and Industry Outreach. "Youth Apprenticeship is a critical tool in helping students identify a career path and the education needed to get them there."

Wisconsin's Youth Apprenticeship Program

Wisconsin's YA program has operated since 1991 and includes a blend of on-the-job training and technical college-level instruction at the participant's high school. Those who complete the program receive a Youth Apprenticeship completion certificate, may receive technical college credit, and graduate with the skills needed to accept an entry-level position in their area.

The program includes 10 career clusters. The five new construction pathways will bring the total number of YA work-based learning programs in Wisconsin to 50 career pathways, up from 45.

The Wisconsin YA program was lauded by the Harvard Graduate School of Education as an "Exemplar of Employer Engagement" in the 2011 Pathways to Prosperity report. The report noted the high number of YA graduates who receive a post-secondary degree and are employed after high school. Additionally, the report noted that 98% of employers would recommend the program to fellow employers.

In December 2013, Governor Walker signed 2013 Wisconsin Act 112, which increased state YA funds by $1 million in the current biennium. In June 2014, Secretary Newson announced the statewide release of $2.2 million in YA grants for the 2014-15 school year to 32 regional consortiums to train hundreds of students statewide.

For more information on the YA program visit: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/youthapprenticeship/

For more information on Wisconsin Fast Forward-Blueprint for Prosperity visit: http://wisconsinfastforward.com/prosperity/

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