Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship (YA) dates back to 1991 as an innovative idea: a school-to-work initiative that prepares students for careers. Now 30 years later, we're continuing the work to show over 450 high school students every year how YA can better their future.
For more information on Youth Apprenticeships, contact us today.
How It Works
YA is designed to shape and skill young talent for the needs of the profession. Think of it as an early recruitment and training strategy for your future talent pool. By design, YA integrates school- and work-based learning to instruct students on employability and professional skills as defined by Wisconsin industries.
Local programs provide training based on statewide YA curriculum guidelines. Students are instructed by qualified trainers and skilled worksite mentors while they're enrolled in academic classes to meet high school graduation requirements, in a YA-related instruction class and are employed by a participating business under the supervision of a skilled mentor.
YA Alumni Testimonials
Hear from Youth Apprenticeship Program graduates on how the program helped them explore industry pathways.
YA 101 Session
If you're interested in hiring a youth apprentice but want more information, watch our most recent YA 101 session recording. You'll hear directly from employers already working with students, as well as graduates of the program.
I think any person will gain something positive out of the YA program. It gives you real-life experience in a field that school just can't do. This is what makes YA so great.
Pharis, STEM-Engineering Youth Apprentice
[My] YA has helped me achieve my CNA license, which is something I have wanted to do for many years. YA is a rewarding hands-on experience!
Carter, Youth Apprentice
I would highly recommend Youth Apprenticeship to others because of all the hands-on learning you get. It really prepares you with life skills and how the workforce operates. For me, it helped me find out what I truly wanted to do after school. For students on the fence, I would say just try it out once because it is a truly valuable opportunity you can get involved with.
Maryann, Agriculture Youth Apprentice
I always had an interest in biotechnology. I enjoyed my coursework in biology all throughout high school but I knew I didn't really want to work in medicine. So I thought that [a Youth Apprenticeship] would be a great opportunity to explore that a bit more outside of just want my high school could offer me.
Lucas, Biotechnology Youth Apprentice
Companies gain new employees that are ready to learn the business, all while helping to alleviate challenges like skilled worker shortages or the ongoing need for a highly skilled workforce. The program allows you to tailor the employee to fit your specific needs in your facility, on your equipment, in your environment, and to your specific standards and goals.
Youth apprentices experience a challenging and rewarding development opportunity with hands-on learning under the supervision of a skilled mentor. This is combined with classroom instruction to engage students in their learning process and motivate them to focus on their future.
Students and companies can engage in YA opportunities in any of 11 industry tracks, including:
- Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources
- Architecture & Construction
- Art, A/V Technology & Communications
- Health Science
- Hospitality, Lodging & Tourism
- Information Technology
- Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
- Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
YA is a game-changer for us. We're molding and recruiting our future workforce in a way we've never done before.
Youth Apprenticeship is a valuable workforce development component to grow the next generation of technicians for the transportation industry. Youth Apprenticeship is also an effective on-the-job training process for Wisconsin secondary students to begin their journey to a rewarding career.
Dan Klecker, State Education Director, WATDA
Impacts and Results
Percent of alumni that are employed post-high school
Percent of YAs that have successfully completed the program since 2012
Percent of YA graduates that enroll in a technical college or university
Workforce Innovation in Action
Industry Council Members
Mary Jo Allen, Bell Laboratories, Inc.
Michol Banes, Baker Tilly/American Marketing Association
Sarah Bass, Long-Term Care Workforce Alliance
Greg Benz, Middleton High School
Zach Brandon, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
Dave Branson, South Central Building Trades Council
Heather Dale, Covance
Kari Davis, State Bank of Cross Plains
Josh Fassl, Dane County School Consortium
Greg Granberg, Oregon High School
Heather Jozwowski, Jefferson County School to Career
Craig Kettleson, Madison Regional Economic Partnership
Dan Klecker, Wisconsin Auto & Truck Dealer Association
Jeff Roach, AGC
Elizabeth Roddy, ABC of Wisconsin Apprenticeship
Ron Roehl, CNC Solutions
Milton Rogers, Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards
Dione Schuman, State of Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
Penny Thompson, McFarland High School
Alex Vernon, Wisconsin Restaurant Association Education Foundation
Jeremy Walden, Madison College
Jennifer Wegner, Madison Metropolitan School District
Bridgett Willey, UW Health
Josh Fassl, Dane County School Consortium
Heather Jozwowski, Jefferson County School to Career Consortium
Seth Lentz, Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin
Annie Johnston, Madison Metropolitan School District
Cindy Sandberg, Jefferson County School to Career
Sherri Zimmerman, Dane County School Consortium
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
Students interested in applying can contact our YA partners: Dane County School Consortium, Madison Metropolitan School District or Jefferson County School to Career Consortium. Additional information is available at the Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship and Wisconsin Registered Apprenticeship websites. More student testimonials are available on the Dane County School Consortium website.