Friday, March 19, 2021
High school seniors have a lot on their minds—college options, career choices, financial aid, finding a job. For Sarah Klein, a 2020 graduate of Milwaukee Public Schools Ronald Reagan High School, work, school, and career planning all merged seamlessly through a youth apprenticeship at Harley-Davidson.
Sarah had a career goal of becoming an industrial electrician. At Reagan, she learned about the Youth Apprentice program, a collaboration between Milwaukee Public Schools and the Wisconsin Division of Workforce Development (DWD). She filled out an application and was offered a youth apprenticeship at Harley-Davidson.
Through her youth apprenticeship, Sarah spent part of her day in class and part of her day working at Harley-Davidson. As a manufacturing basic industrial equipment youth apprentice, she was paid for her work time and gained extensive on-the-job skills.
"The youth apprenticeship program truly helped me explore and feel secure in making decisions about my future while teaching me valuable lessons like how to manage money, maintain professionalism, and how to use every resource to become successful," she said.
Because the DWD created bridges from youth apprentice programs to registered apprentice programs, which are only for adults, Sarah was able to enter a registered apprenticeship directly after graduating from high school. Through her registered apprenticeship, she will receive classroom instruction, on-the-job training, and be paid for her work and study time. In about four years, she will receive her journey-level industrial electrician card.
Milwaukee Public Schools recruits for youth apprentices several times each school year so students can learn about opportunities with companies such as Aurora Healthcare, Children’s Wisconsin, We Energies, Leonardo DRS, St. Camillus, and more.
MPS high school sophomores, juniors, and their parents/guardians are invited to a Youth Apprentice information session on March 24, 2021, at 6:00 P.M. via Zoom. Please register by March 22 at https://tinyurl.com/3-24YAinfomeeting so a link can be emailed to you. If you cannot attend the virtual meeting, contact Terri Salzer at firstname.lastname@example.org. View or print a flyer for more information.
Special thanks to Amy Pechacek, Department of Workforce Development, who contributed to this story.