The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) today announced record participation in its Youth Apprenticeship (YA) programs, with 8,357 high-school juniors and seniors pursuing paid, on-the-job training in fields, including manufacturing, health, science, agriculture and more. This record number represents 30% more youth apprentices than the 2021-2022 school year.

“With record low unemployment at 2.5% and a record number of jobs, Wisconsin employers are seeking new ways to connect with high-skill employees,” said DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek. “Youth Apprenticeship is one way for employers to find talent, and the program’s record numbers show that it’s a connector for employers and job seekers alike. Youth apprentices truly are the next generation of our workforce, Wisconsin’s future nurses, construction workers, marketers, manufacturers, technology innovators, and more.”

DWD’s YA program is an earn-while-you-learn model that connects apprentices with high-skill, high-wage employment with employers across the state. In addition to learning the hands-on skills of the occupation from the employer, youth apprentices gain occupation-specific knowledge through an area technical college or private training center in addition to completing their high-school coursework. A key component of apprenticeship is employment and there is no apprenticeship without a respective job opening.

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