KSDE, KDOC introduce first Kansas Youth Registered Apprenticeship for Topeka high school students

WIBW-TV, Nov. 17, 2021 – See the original article here

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Topeka high school students now have the chance to apply for a Kansas Youth Registered Apprenticeship according to the Department of Education and the Department of Commerce.

The Kansas State Department of Education and Department of Commerce say a Topeka Public Schools USD 501 high school student sponsored by Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas will have the chance to work for the KSDE Information Technology team as part of the first-ever Kansas Youth Registered Apprenticeship in a Career and Technical Education pathway.

The departments partnered to offer the YRA opportunity.

The departments said Youth Registered Apprenticeship programs are an innovative partnership between business and education which prepare high schools students for challenging careers in leading industries. They said a YRA is a work-based learning opportunity that provides students with both academic and workplace skills that can lead to postsecondary education opportunities and careers.

According to the departments, the apprentices get paid on-the-job training as well as job-related technical instruction that also supports high school graduation requirements. They said the youth apprentice works for an employer part-time, between 5 – 18 hours per week.

The departments said a YRA connects a student’s knowledge and skills acquired in KSDE-approved CTE programs to an employer’s Registered Apprenticeship training. They said a YRA program allows a student to start their chosen career pathway training while still in high school.

“This is the first such program to be established in Kansas and will usher in the advancement of youth programs designed to support students in earn-and-learn education opportunities connected to the student Individual Plan of Study (IPS),” said Stacey Smith, assistant director for KSDE’s Career, Standards and Assessment Services team. “The Kansas Department of Commerce has been essential in developing this opportunity with KSDE. The program also includes a partnership with Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) and Topeka USD 501, which will support the youth placement through academic and technical training aligned with the IT occupation.”

The departments said youth apprentices graduate from high school with skills and valuable work experience as well as advanced credits in community colleges, technical colleges and adult Registered Apprenticeship programs. Nationally, they said over 75% of youth apprentice graduates enroll in a community college, technical college or university after graduation. All youth apprentice graduates who continue with a Registered Apprenticeship program maintain employment.

“We are all in when it comes to preparing students for future work, and these apprenticeships do just that,” Lt. Gov. and Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “We want and need innovative programs like Youth Registered Apprenticeship to provide interesting, worthwhile opportunities for students to earn while they learn important skills to prepare them for the workforce of the future.”

As registration with the federal registry for apprenticeships is finalized, the departments said Topeka High School students will have the chance to view the job posting for the Youth Registered Apprenticeship on the State of Kansas Jobs website as well as on the KDOC website.

For more information about YRAs, click HERE.