Youth Apprenticeship Program

How Does Youth Apprenticeship Work?

Youth Apprenticeship (YA) is a 1- or 2-year program that gives juniors and seniors in high school the chance to explore a career area of interest. Students spend part of their school day earning credit and wages while they gain valuable industry experience under the guidance of a local business mentor. Employers are also encourage to engage in ongoing conversations with the students regarding the potential for ongoing employment and post-secondary education recommendations tied to the careers that they were exposed to. 

Every Youth Apprentice student that successfully completes the career path program requirements will earn an Occupational Skills Proficiency Certification. This certification verifies that they have gained the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to be successful in their chosen industry within the state of Wisconsin.

Program Key Components

Related Instruction

Students must enroll and completion 1 high school credit or 3 college credits of related concurrent instruction for each year that they are enrolled in the program.

On the Job Training

Students will complete 450 hours of training within their career area of interest under the guidance of an experienced mentor. This averages out to 10-20 hours per week

Progress Evaluation

Students receive high school credit for the Youth Apprenticeship experience. Employers provide feedback on the employability and technical skills throughout the program.

How Do I Get Started as a Student?


Students can start applying in the spring semester for positions that begin the summer before their junior year.

Seeking Employment

Businesses select the apprentices that are the best fit for their organizations and open positions; there are no forced placements.

You’re Hired

Once hired, apprentices spend part of their week learning at school and part of the week learning on the job.

Connecting Student to Opportunities and Employers to Talents

Who we Serve

Click the green areas on the map to display a list of schools for each county.

How Do I Get Started as an Employer?


Interested employers can fill out a company profile to get started. We will contact you within 48 hours to discuss next steps.

Select an Apprentice

Once approved, businesses select the apprentices that are the best fit for their organizations and open positions.

Apprenticeship Begins

Once hired, apprentices spend part of their week learning at school and part of the week learning on the job.

Youth Apprenticeship Program Testimonials

As a mom and an educator, I can honestly say that the opportunities provided for my daughter during her Youth Apprenticeship rival any other learning opportunity she had in her high-achieving, progressive high school. The work experience, on-the-job training, real-life problem-solving skills, and responsibility her apprenticeship provided proved invaluable. I wish I had my eldest son participate, and I will ensure that my youngest son doesn’t miss out on this incredible and applicable experience.

Erin, Parent

I had a lot of opportunities in my high school career. Despite many AP courses, CAPP classes and enrichment classes, my best experience was my Youth Apprenticeship. I was bale to have many hours of work experience while still being able to prioritize school and homework. Having the opportunity to connect with supervisors and receive extra feedback was so beneficial. The experiences I was provided enabled me to ultimately decide what field of study I wanted to pursue in college. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity.  

Julia, Class of 2023

We are very proud to be part of their learning and very excited to see them grow into engaged and compassionate caregivers. These students have taken on their responsibilities seriously and performed their jobs very well. It is inspiring to see them transform from shy youngsters to a confident, competent and compassionate health care team members.  We were impressed with their development and success that they have both been hired as our employees.

Judith A. S BSN, RN Manager Inpatient Services

This has been very exciting to bring in new people to our workforce and industry.   I have been happy to see the level of motivation and skill that is out there in these students.   With YA, not only do we get to teach about our industry, we also get to understand the personalities and skill set of these employees.

Rob M, P.E., Water Systems Manager

The YA program is very important to Healthcare.  We have over 20 current or former YA students working as associates in our system in roles ranging from CNA and RN all the way to Nurse Practitioners.  This is a true testament to the value of this program for our organization.

Mary Sue L., Human Resources

The YA program has been a great partnership with CESA 6. Students are learning critical IT skills while we are learning how to engage and work with the next generation workforce.  With the known shortage of IT professionals, this program helps raise awareness and gain excitement around the IT career path when students are making decisions on their future.  We must expand, celebrate, promote, and encourage participation in this endeavor.

John K. CIO and VP of Information Technology

When I first got involved with the Youth Apprentice Program as an employer, I thought it would be a great way to provide real world experience to young people to enrich their opportunities. The reality is that the program has been just as enriching for me as well. I am amazed at the knowledge level and the contributions the Apprentices have made to our organization. Anyone that has criticisms about the younger generation has never had the opportunity to work with these young adults.

Darryl A, Technology Services Director

Youth apprenticeship programs have been a game-changer for our organization. They offer a unique opportunity to cultivate a skilled and motivated workforce while simultaneously providing young individuals with a promising start to their careers. In our experience, the benefits have been profound.

Tim H., Workforce Development Manager

One of the most remarkable aspects of hiring youth apprentices in manufacturing is their eagerness to learn. These students bring a fresh perspective and a genuine curiosity about the industry that often leads to innovative ideas and creative solutions to longstanding challenges. They are unafraid to ask questions, challenge the status quo, and embrace cutting-edge technologies and practices, all of which invigorate our manufacturing processes.

Kari P, Talent Acquisition Specialist

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