In Maryland, Frederick County Public Schools is one of two districts throughout the State of Maryland chosen to be a pilot of a new program.
“We’re focusing on our Youth Apprenticeship Program with Frederick County Public Schools that we’re in our second year of our pilot program, so we’re just recognizing our progress and to honor our employer partners who are taking part in the program,” said FCPS Youth Apprenticeship Program, Coordinator, Jeremy Brown.
The Youth Apprenticeship Program is designed for high school juniors or seniors to “earn and learn” in a career field that has some need and a skill area that students have interest in.
FCPS officials said it’s another pathway for a post-high school career.
“They sign up, and then, they go for an interview with an employer. If they are hired as a youth apprentice, they get a mentor in that career field. Then, they work for 450 hours over the course of the school year,” said Brown.
Students receive both academic credits as well as a paycheck from their employer.
Partner employers, like Paul Foster with Dynamic Automotive, said with them, students will learn everything from oil changes to engine replacements and repairs.
“We teach them good business skills, so they can end up being a technician that is the end game. We also enroll them into technical training, which is part of the apprenticeship program,” said Foster.
With the program, officials said it doesn’t mean that college is out of the picture.
“It doesn’t necessarily forgo college. For instance, we had a student last year who was an apprentice in the program, and this year, is working full time with his employer, and the employer is helping pay for the tuition,” said Brown.
When it comes to earning and learning, in this case, there’s one goal.
“The goal is when the goal is complete. They’ll be able to move into full-time employment,” said Brown.
Officials said Washington County Public Schools also offers the program. They said there are about 17 employers and seven students currently in FCPS’ program.