CCEDC was proud to recognize the tremendous efforts of CESA at their 2019 Annual Meeting with the Economic Development Partner Business of the Year Award, in recognition of their record number of 406 students participating in Youth Apprenticeship this year.
Chippewa Valley Youth Apprenticeship Consortium
The Chippewa Valley Youth Apprenticeship Consortium is a partnership among area employers, high schools, and the Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA 10). The program is coordinated and supervised by school district staff members so that there is a strong connection between classroom learning and the work experience. Gwen Skoyen is the Director of College and Career Readiness with CESA 10. “The goal of CESA is to work with local families, businesses, and communities. We assist school districts to prepare graduates to be college, career, and citizenship-ready and fully prepared to contribute to the future prosperity of our state,” Skoyen said.
As part of the Certified Work-Based Learning (WBL) programs offered by CESA 10, the Youth Apprenticeship (YA) offering focuses on instructing students in employability and occupational skills defined by Wisconsin industries. Students who choose to participate in the YA program must be a junior or senior in high school and will have a minimum of 450 hours of work-based learning for a one-year program and a minimum of 900 hours of work-based learning for a two-year program. There are 11 areas of opportunity, including offerings in agriculture, construction, finance, health science, hospitality, information technology, manufacturing, marketing, STEM, and transportation.
While students gain hands-on experience in the program, employers can grow their workforce through skills-based checklists, qualify for tax incentives, and donate back to the schools’ Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. In addition, companies can gain goodwill from more community involvement, can nurture their future workforce, and bridge the skills gap of students coming out of high school by communicating what the real world needs.
As the Director of College Readiness at CESA 10, Skoyen focuses on liaising among local businesses, industry partners, school districts, students, and parents. “It is important that our future workforce is aware of the vast array of employment opportunities in this region of the state,” Skoyen said. “It is vital we work together to attract and retail professional talent in the Chippewa Valley in order to maintain a strong economy,” Skoyen concluded.