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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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 24, 2015
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
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On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

DWD Deputy Secretary Congratulates Youth Apprenticeship Graduates in Dane County

MADISON – On Thursday evening, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Deputy Secretary Jonathan Barry joined in the celebration of 100 Youth Apprenticeship (YA) graduates at the Dane County School Consortium's Annual Youth Apprenticeship Recognition Banquet.

"Wisconsin's Youth Apprenticeship program is popular with students, parents and employers," Deputy Secretary Barry said during the event at McFarland High School. "Thanks to investments made by Governor Walker and the Legislature, more high school juniors and seniors than ever can have a school-to-work experience that will give them the opportunity to explore career options while earning a wage and gaining valuable real-world skills."

The YA program integrates school-based and work-based learning to instruct students in employability and occupational skills. Students are simultaneously enrolled in academic classes to meet high school graduation requirements, in a Youth Apprenticeship related instruction class, and are employed by a participating employer under the supervision of a skilled mentor.

The 100 students graduating from the Dane County Youth Apprenticeship program this year come from schools across Dane County including Belleville, Cambridge, Deforest, Madison Metropolitan, Marshall, McFarland, Middleton-Cross Plains, Monona Grove, Mt. Horeb, Oregon, Stoughton, Sun Prairie, Verona, and Waunakee. Graduates are involved in the following programs:

"This group of graduating youth apprenticeship students has accomplished so much during their last years at high school," said Diane Kraus, Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator at the Dane County School Consortium. "Along with receiving their high school diploma, they are leaving with entry level skills and a career focus. The students have built relationships that will last a lifetime. They will truly be an asset to our communities and to our future workforce."

Last year, Governor Walker awarded more than $2.2 million in grants to participating schools for the YA program and has proposed continuing this funding in his 2015-2017 budget. Enrollment for the 2013-14 school year reached 2,469, a 10 year high for the YA program, with apprentices at 279 school districts and at 1,639 employers across Wisconsin. A total of 1,418 Youth Apprenticeship State Skill Certificates were awarded, resulting in industry-recognized credentials for occupations that are in demand by Wisconsin employers.

For more about the YA program, visit: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/youthapprenticeship/

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