As the National Apprenticeship Week(NAW) is celebrated across the U.S. and Missouri, the trail of youth apprenticeships continues to blaze for the state here in the Tri-County area. The events showcase the culmination of program highlights of Registered Apprenticeship(RA) activities celebrated over 6 weeks.

As the National Apprenticeship Week(NAW) is celebrated across the U.S. and Missouri, the trail of youth apprenticeships continues to blaze for the state here in the Tri-County area. The events showcase the culmination of program highlights of Registered Apprenticeship(RA) activities celebrated over 6 weeks.

The statewide Apprenticeship Summit took place in Columbia on November 12th, where Governor Parson’s signed a Proclamation implementing the Office of Apprenticeship. Cynthia Walker, RA Coordinator, was one of the speakers at the Summit, representing youth apprenticeships through High School Career and Technical Education programs.

The Missouri School Counselor Association also was an event showcasing the Eldon Career Center(ECC) and Lake Career & Technical Center(LCTC)Youth Apprenticeship Program where Walker presented an Apprenticeship 101 Workshop. Representatives from all state apprenticeship agencies participated in the NAW event hosted at the ECC. The 2019 Apprenticeship Ceremony took place in the Performing Arts Center on November 18th celebrating the joint RA Program of ECC and LCTC.

Special guests were Department of Labor(DOL) State Apprenticeship Director - Neil Perry; Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development(DHEWD) Apprenticeship Coordinator - Haylie Schuster; Department of Elementary and Secondary Education(DESE)-State Director of Skilled Technical Education, Dr. Oscar Carter; Dr. Hadfield, Superintendent of Camdenton School District; Jackie Jenkins, Director Lake Career & Technical Center; Mr. Matt Davis, Superintendent of Eldon School District; Erin Rohwer, Director of Eldon Career Center; and Cynthia Walker, Registered Apprenticeship Coordinator The Missouri Registered Apprenticeship Program is growing and leading the way in Youth Apprenticeships for the state and nation. The ECC and LCTC are proud of their 39/111 state of Missouri youth apprentices (18 years and under) and 4 adults. The commitment signing of 10 new apprentices and a year’s total of 5 apprentices completing their National Occupational Credential with instructors and employers celebrates the second year for this program. This program is the first in the state to complete Youth RAs.

Students have received needed uniforms and tools provided at deep discounts from RP Lumber, Nuway, and O’Reilly’s Auto Parts of Camdenton. All aspects of this program have been made possible through the generosity of the Phase 2 Grant awarded in April 2019, by the DHEWD and the TransPORTS funding from the DOL. In addition to the start-up tools, funding for the program start-up salary of Cynthia Walker, Registered Apprenticeship Coordinator, new office equipment, supplies, certifications, and dual credit costs have been provided through these sources.

“Eldon Career Center and Lake Career and Technical Center have successfully developed a nation-leading model for registered youth apprenticeship programs,” said Katie Adams, a national apprenticeship expert and Program Manager for TransPORTs, a US Department of Labor industry intermediary.

“High school students participating in these programs are gaining valuable, paid on-the-job learning experience under the supervision of a skilled mentor, learning key competencies and theory through rigorous academic instruction at their local Career and Technical Center or partner community college, and getting on a solid career pathway for an in-demand occupation that pays a family-supporting wage. It has taken enormous leadership by these Center’s directors and Cynthia Walker, the ECC registered apprenticeship program coordinator, to build and sustain a program that is already providing students career pathways while in high School.”

The program’s origination is attributed to the vision of superintendent's Matt Davis and Dr. Tim Hadfield and their career center director’s, Kelli Engelbrecht (ECC), Erin Rohwer(ECC), and Jackie Jenkins(LCTC). Program success rests on the shoulders of the industry relevant instructors, innovative and career ready programs, and high school students who excel in their aptitude of the skill trade. They have set themselves apart and are proving to be a model for national youth apprenticeship programs. Employers are hiring these apprentices and leading the charge in filling the nation’s skills gap epidemic. Partnering employers SPI Enterprises, LLoyd Belt Automotive, Deer Valley Marine, Smith Truss Systems, Dependable Automotive, Rice Flooring and Thomas Construction each have two or more apprentices on staff. These students are on a scheduled wage progression and being mentored for longevity and growth in these companies. The collaboration of the three state agencies with the large community of partners is making a difference in the lives of the next skill trade generation.