Kent County Becomes
Seventh Maryland School System to Join Growing Youth Apprenticeship Program
(March 18, 2019) – Governor Larry Hogan, with Acting Maryland Labor Secretary James E. Rzepkowski and Maryland State Department of Education Assistant State Superintendent Dr. Lynne Gilli, today announced that Kent County has become the seventh Maryland school system to join the growing Apprenticeship Maryland Program. Kent’s participation in the state’s youth apprenticeship program will provide opportunities for Eastern Shore high school juniors and seniors to gain valuable work experience and get an early start on a career pathway.
“Our administration’s nationally recognized youth apprenticeship program continues to grow in popularity with Maryland’s local public school systems,” said Governor Hogan. “Youth apprenticeship is a proven way to give our high school students a head start on a fulfilling career and give our employers access to talent trained in the specific skillsets needed for today’s 21st century workforce.”
The Apprenticeship Maryland Program was founded in 2015 as a pilot
in Frederick and Washington counties, and is a partnership between the Maryland
Department of Labor, the Maryland State Department of Education, the Department
of Commerce, the county public school system, community educational and
business partners, and area employers. As in other participating counties, Kent
County Public Schools will coordinate student placements; their goal is to
place up to five students during the first year of the program.
“We are very excited to launch our apprenticeship program with Dixon Valve Coupling, a major employer in Kent County,” said Kent County Public Schools Superintendent Karen M. Couch. “Dixon Valve has been supportive of the school system and this is a natural evolution of an exceptional partnership. We hope to expand the youth apprenticeship program into other Kent County businesses. Apprenticeship programs provide real-world experience, knowledge, and skills for our students to pursue postsecondary education and job training to become successful in their chosen career.”
Maryland specifically invests in the key industries of manufacturing, science,
technology, engineering and math (STEM), and offers apprenticeable
occupations in such industries as construction, communications, media, and
more, giving students valuable work experience in growing fields.
“Youth apprenticeship engages a new generation of workers, ensuring Maryland employers have access to the talent they need for their businesses to grow and prosper,” said Acting Maryland Labor Secretary Rzepkowski. “This proven workforce development program builds a highly trained workforce that increases a company’s quality and productivity, while offering our high school students the knowledge and skills they need to get a jumpstart on their careers and become experts in growing, in-demand fields of work.”
Youth apprenticeship program students work a minimum of 450 hours
with a certified employer, while receiving related educational training through
their high school. Participating students typically work during the summer
after their junior year and during their senior year with a state-approved
employer. They work with a mentor to learn valuable skills and earn industry
credentials and high school credit.
“The Apprenticeship Maryland Career and Technology Education Program is a great option for students to get work experience that can lead to full-time employment as well as college,” said Dr. Lynne Gilli, Maryland Department of Education assistant state superintendant. “Not only is it an earn and learn opportunity for students, but it is also a workforce development solution for employers—a win/win for everyone.”
Since its launch, the Apprenticeship Maryland Program has grown by
245 percent in the number of participating youth apprentices, and 342 percent
growth in the number of participating businesses.
High school juniors and seniors in Kent County
interested in becoming a youth apprentice may contact Nick Keckley at 410-778-4540 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Businesses interested in hiring a youth apprentice may
contact Jeffrey Smith, Maryland Department of Labor program manager, at
410-767-0227 or email@example.com.
To learn more about the Apprenticeship Maryland
Program, visit youth.mdapprenticeship.com.