Frederick County Selected for Youth Apprenticeship Pilot Program; Hosting Employer Kickoff March 23
Program created in partnership with Maryland Department of Labor
Frederick, MD – Frederick County has been selected as one of two counties in Maryland to pilot the first youth apprenticeship program in the state.
Apprenticeship Maryland provides high school juniors and seniors with academic and occupational skills leading to both a high school diploma and a State Skill Certificate.
The program is a partnership between the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the Maryland State Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, Frederick County Public Schools, community educational and business partners, and area employers. Frederick County Public Schools will take the lead in coordinating student placements.
“We are seeking interested employers who would like to learn more about apprenticeship and the benefits it has for local businesses,” said Brett F. Stark, director of curriculum for Frederick County Public Schools.
An employer information session and kickoff is scheduled for March 23 from 4-6 p.m. at the AOPA Community Center on Bucheimer Road in Frederick.
To support the Apprenticeship Maryland initiative, the FirstEnergy Foundation has contributed a $7,500 grant.
The grant money will be awarded to the Frederick County Business Roundtable for Education Fund, which is managed by the Community Foundation of Frederick County and the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce.
The FirstEnergy Foundation is funded solely by FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) and provides support to non-profit, tax-exempt health and human services agencies; educational organizations; cultural and arts programs and institutions; and civic groups in areas served by FirstEnergy’s 10 electric operating companies and in areas where the company conducts business.
“We are pleased to provide financial support to help launch this innovative program, and encourage other area employers to get involved,” said James A. Sears, president of FirstEnergy’s Maryland Operations. “Potomac Edison, our Maryland utility, faces an ongoing challenge to find skilled workers ready for the demands of a technical workplace, and I know we are not alone. Apprenticeship Maryland should help create a pipeline of future employees with the base skills we need coming in the door.”
The program requires that eligible employers hire Apprenticeship Maryland participants in eligible career track occupations in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and manufacturing. Student apprentices are provided paid compensation through “earn and learn” opportunities.
Students will also receive training in employability skills, interpersonal/social skills and general knowledge of the world of work. Frederick County will be recruiting up to 60 students for participation in the program over the next two years.
“The Youth Apprenticeship Maryland pilot program in Frederick County is an important and exciting new avenue for investment in the skills and talent of the next generation of Frederick County workers,” said Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz.
Sec. Schulz went on to say, “I'm thrilled that FirstEnergy has taken that first investment step, and is contributing a $7,500 grant to the Frederick Youth Apprenticeship program. This generous donation will go a long way in helping area small businesses fund the hiring of youth apprentices. Engaging a new generation of workers and employers through Frederick County's New Youth Apprenticeship Program drives economic development and helps to ensure that Maryland remains open for business.”
If you would like to attend the employer information session and kickoff March 23 please RSVP to Amanda Haddaway at firstname.lastname@example.org.