An increasing number of youth apprenticeships turn into jobs, building skills, confidence, and jump starting young people into employment.
In Charleston, the number of youth apprenticeship programs are on the rise. One of them worked out very well for Walter Newman, who turned an apprenticeship into a full time job with an automobile parts manufacturer. He had not considered manufacturing as a direction after graduation. A guidance counselor saw that he could work with his hands and proposed that he try it out.
He attended an open house for high school students, and after applying became one of the first high school apprentices in the area. Two years later, he was 18, newly graduated, with a full time job fixing machines.
“I know how to take these machines apart,” Newman says. “I know just about everything that makes them tick. I’ve learned about motors, pumps, valves, all sorts of different stuff.”