What is a Youth Apprenticeship?

Some of the most promising careers of the future are in technical fields.  Youth Apprenticeships are unique new opportunities for juniors or seniors to start preparing for a career while still in high school.  One or two-year programs combine academic education, occupational instruction, and work-based learning from an employer.  These programs achieve two important goals: they help students aquire needed skills for the jobs of tomorrow and they help industry develop a highly skilled work force to remain competitive in the marketplace. 


Youth Apprenticeship students spend part of the day at their local high school or technical college completing required coursework and the remainder of the day will be spent learning skills on the job.

What areas of employment are available for study?

Which Manitowoc County schools offer Youth Apprenticeship?

  • Lincoln High School

  • McKinley Academy

  • Manitowoc Lutheran High School

  • Reedsville High School

  • Two Rivers High School

  • Valders High School

  • Mishicot High School

  • Roncalli High School

How can I get more information?

  • Please contact Kari Mueller, Manitowoc County Youth Apprenticeship Program Coordinator, or use the contact information provided for your school. 

Is there a fee?

  • Personal costs may consist of textbooks (only if you keep the book), uniforms, tools, and transportation. 

What are the requirements to join YA?

You Must:

  • Be a high school junior or senior.

  • Be on track towards fulfilling graduation requirements of your school.

  • Maintain good grades in all classes (YA and high school).  Technical college classes require a C or better.

  • Have a good attendance record at school and work.

  • Have a driver's license and/or transportation

  • Be able to cover personal costs of books (if you plan to keep them), uniforms, and tools.

  • Have clear and timely communication skills, especially if you are in extracurricular activities or sports.

  • Have been hired by a participating employer following application submission and an interview.

How will this change my high school experience and benefit me?

As a youth apprentice, you will be away from your high school for a substantial part of your Junior and/or Senior years preparing for your future career.  Every effort will be made to allow you to participate in extracurricular activities and sports.  However, this program does not employ a traditional schedule.  Applicants need to be comfortable making these changes.  This is a non-traditional educational experience.  Parental support is very important.  The experience requires personal transportation.  A strong commitment should be shared by you and your parents


You Will:

  • Develop strong academic and technical skills.

  • Learn to hande responsibility, develop good work habits, learn problem solving, time management, and team work required of skilled adults.

  • See the first-hand connection between education and real-life work skills.

  • Earn wages during the program.

  • Master the required program competencies and receive a state-issued certificate of occupational proficiency.

  • Gain advanced standing or receive transcripted credit at a technical college.

What's the next step after applying?

If selected to interview and you are hired by the employer you will enroll in Youth Apprenticeship related classes and be available for 15 or more hours of work per week during the school year.  You must also maintain good grades in school, work for at least 450 hours in a year, achieve required work skills, and meet high school graduation requirements in order to complete the program. 

What are the benefits of hiring a Youth Apprenticeship Student?

You can:

  • Improve the skill level of potential workers while only having to pay the apprentice at least minimum wage.

  • Reduce employee turnover and retraining costs by hiring Youth Apprentice graduates (Over 85% of YA graduates are employed after high school - many continue working for their original employers).

  • Increase career options for young people within your community.

  • Improve competitive positioning in the world marketplace by developing a highly skilled and educated workforce.


Employers play an active role in developing the skills of their future workforce by hiring Youth Apprentices and training them to industry skill standards. 


Students who graduate from the Youth Apprenticeship program are more likely to come back to their hometown to look for employment after graduating college versus moving away to find employment, which creates a strong workforce within our communities.


Being involved with your community by investing in our youth - our future - is priceless.

What are my responsibilities as a Youth Apprenticeship employer?

  • A one or two-school-year-commitment, requiring 450 (one-year) or 900 (two-year) hours of paid employment at minimum wage or higher.  This equates to approximately 12 hours per week, and students are released from school approximately 3 hours per day to be at the work site.  They can work from 7:00 - 10:00 am or 12:30 - 3:30 pm (these times are aproximate and flexible) after school, and/or on weekends.

  • Two (one-year) or four (two-year) semesters of related coursework (paid for by the Youth Apprenticeship program).

  • The employer agrees to provide specified learning opportunities (called competencies) according to the state drafted agreement.  These competencies are listed in the contract that would be signed by the employer, student, parents, and school district representative.

  • Quarterly grading evaluations.  The employer/mentor grades the student on their overall work ethic.  The purpose of the quarterly evaluations is to make sure the students are progressing sufficiently and that the competencies are being met.

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