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Scott Walker, Governor
Raymond Allen, 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
Monday, February 29, 2016
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

Supporting Career & Technical Education Throughout the Year in Wisconsin

A Guest Column by Secretary Ray Allen Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

"The Youth Apprenticeship program allows our staff to act as mentors, trainers and positive role models, which hopefully will create long-term interest in manufacturing and offer something back to our local community. World Wide Sign Systems Inc. has gained a fresh and optimistic outlook on manufacturing from our youth apprentices. As a company we get back dedicated and enthusiastic employees who fill vital roles in our staffing. It really is a win/win experience." - World Wide Sign Systems, Inc., Bonduel

Recently, I visited World Wide Sign Systems Inc. of Bonduel, a provider of wholesale signs and sign faces for the sign industry, and met two youth apprentices who are learning about the manufacturing industry firsthand through the program.

The youth apprentices spoke highly about their experience at World Sign Systems and the manufacturing industry in general. Meanwhile, company leaders said they are so pleased with the program that they plan to expand Youth Apprenticeship to another Wisconsin location. Additionally, local school district leadership said the positive impact of the program extends beyond the students and employer and into the local community.

As we wrap up Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month, which Governor Walker proclaimed for the month of February, we will continue to highlight successful CTE programs like Youth Apprenticeship that are helping the workers of tomorrow think about and plan for their future careers today.

“In order to meet the increasing demands of employers and prepare the next generation of our workforce, we have to change the way we think about career planning,” Governor Walker stated in his 2016 State of the State address.

Investments in Youth Apprenticeship, Academic and Career Planning, and school-to-work initiatives under the Governor's Wisconsin Fast Forward-Blueprint for Prosperity program help create more opportunities for students to gain lifelong workplace skills, earn credentials or credits towards a career, and further their education.

By helping students develop skills to compete in the 21st century economy, we also are linking employers to a pipeline of talented individuals to meet their workforce needs.

I encourage parents, guardians and others to learn more about local CTE programs, whether it's Youth Apprenticeship, Academic and Career Planning or other collaborations between education, workforce and economic development partners. I also encourage employers to find out how these programs can help them fill their needs for skilled talent.

While Career and Technical Education Month gives us an opportunity to build awareness about CTE programs, we will continue to support efforts that ensure a robust talent pool for employers into the future.

View the Governor's Career and Technical Education Month proclamation