Apprenticeship programs are on the rise across the United States. The apprenticeship model is nothing new however it has been expanded in recent years to include more non-traditional career pathways such as healthcare, information technology, drafting, engineering and more. As apprenticeship has expanded there have been more and more opportunities to receive federal grant funding to expand apprenticeship programs locally. In 2018 Nebraska Department of Education in partnership with Northeast Community College, Pathways 2 Tomorrow, Wayne State College, Nebraska Department of Labor and Nebraska Department of Education received a grant to expand youth apprenticeships in the STEM area throughout the state of the Nebraska.
Since receiving this grant a team of individuals was formed to expand youth apprenticeships in Nebraska. So what has this team been working on over the last few years to build a strong talent pipeline for your business? One of the most important collaborations that has been advanced is the collaboration between our high schools and the colleges in the area: Northeast Community College and Wayne State College. These collaborations have provided high schools with even more opportunities to offer dual-credit courses to high school students. With Northeast Nebraska being full of rural communities it can sometimes be hard for individual schools to offer a wide variety of classes as well as more advanced levels of basic classes they currently offer.
Through these partnerships we have seen more and more rural schools be able to offer some sort of career pathway program to better prepare their students for life after high school whether that be work or pursue a college education. In the West Point area, a consortium of 7 area high schools have come together to form what is known as Pathways 2 Tomorrow or P2T. P2T offers 5 career pathways to students that these schools would not be able to offer on their own. This allows students to explore various career paths while still in high school to determine if that is the right fit for them. Some of the pathways even offer seniors the opportunity to participate in an internship or apprenticeship program during their second semester.
We are continuously reviewing our curriculum offered at all levels to ensure we are providing students with the necessary skills and knowledge base to be successful on the job. This includes partnering with businesses in the area to provide more work-based learning opportunities for our students. Work-based learning in the form of internships and apprenticeships provide an invaluable learning experience for our youth and give our businesses the opportunity to mold these individuals into a future employee. It truly is a win-win for everyone involved. If you are interested in learning more about partnering with us to mold your future workforce, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.