Youth apprenticeship program coming back to DDHS

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DELAVAN — The Delavan-Darien School District is working to revive a challenging and rewarding learning option for its high school students looking to explore career interests or get a jump on entering the workforce — the Youth Apprenticeship Program.

The high school will be working with area technical colleges and businesses this coming school year to give junior and senior students options to receive school credit for paid on-the-job work experience.

“We're tremendously excited to bring this program back to DDHS,” said Cindy Yager, coordinator of careers and occupations for the district. “This program fits perfectly within our district's strategic plan, which focuses greatly on student transitions to college and careers. It will also help our schools build and strengthen partnerships with area employers and post-secondary institutions, which will result in further benefits for our students and community.”

Students in the Youth Apprenticeship program will have to take courses related to the work they're doing, and meet minimum hourly on-the-job requirements to receive credit. They can have these at-work, hands-on-learning opportunities during approved portions of school days (including before, during and after school), on weekends and over summer.

Students can take classes at DDHS or, in some cases, through technical colleges, where college credit can often be earned before high school graduation.

The youth apprenticeship positions are also paid and students can use the experience to receive certifications in some of the career pathways, such as in automotive, welding, food service and other industries.

Students can participate in Youth Apprenticeship in the following career pathways: agricultural science, food science, natural resources, architecture and construction, arts, audio/video technology, communications, finance, health science, hospitality/tourism, information technology, manufacturing, engineering, transportation and logistics.

The program is expected to start this fall. There will be two levels of the program. The one-year program requires a minimum 450 hours of work-based learning and two semesters of related classroom instruction. A two-year program requires four semesters of related classroom instruction and a minimum 900 hours of work-based learning.

Students can start the program in June following their sophomore or junior year.

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