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What Makes for a Successful Youth Apprenticeship? AASA Panel Offers Ideas

Several school leaders, in an AASA conference panel on Friday, shared some strategies for success when school districts run youth apprenticeship programs.

At “Youth Apprenticeship Pathways for Student Success,” Bryan Joffe, an AASA project director, played two short videos that described the skills that students acquire from apprenticeships and how students develop those skills.

He was joined by Sarah Grobbel, assistant superintendent of career and innovation of Cherry Creek School District, Greenwood Village, Colo.; and Bernard McCune, senior executive director of Denver Public Schools in Colorado.

“Apprenticeships are designed to open multiple opportunities for today’s high school students,” Grobbel said.

She emphasized the real-world working experience and opportunities for students when they apply themselves to apprenticeships. The three-year apprenticeship programs in Denver and elsewhere help students partner with local businesses.

According to Grobbel, the mission of the youth apprenticeships is to inspire students to think, learn and achieve — and to care about the work they do. As part of her mission, Grobbel hopes to recruit more students to participate in apprenticeships in her community and elsewhere.

McCune said he  believed the benefits  of youth apprenticeships include the fact students receive debt-free college credits, workplace certifications and training wages. Students who participate in apprenticeships gain  a better understanding about the connection of their school courses to real-life work experiences.

AASA and the U.S. Department of Labor have partnered  to promote youth apprenticeships around the country, Joffe said.

At the end of the session, presenters shared handouts about the AASA Youth Apprenticeship Summit that will take place on April 2-3 in Chicago. At this event, expert panels, student voices and stories of successful programs and partnerships will be shared.

(Carina Muniz is a sophomore at Bonita Vista High School and an intern for AASA’s Conference Daily Online.)

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