Apprenticeships train and pay students in skilled trades at a high school which launched a new career academy this year.
At West De Pere High School, the Trades Career Academy has enrolled 11 students this year who are interested in completing their education and preparing for a career in skilled trades. They spend two hours in regular school, and the rest of the day in one of six businesses doing welding, working with machinery, engineering, or similar activities.
“I like working with my hands,” said senior Andrew Ferron, who works at Robinson Metal in De Pere. “I get to do a little bit of everything.”
Students like Ferron do not plan to attend a four year college, but need training for future jobs. Businesses are in need of qualified workers and are more and more likely to work with schools to prepare students, in the hope of finding good employees who have been trained in necessary skills.
The apprenticeship program is coordinated through the Green Bay Area Chamber. Students earn high school credits and a paycheck. Some will have jobs working full time for the companies they are apprenticing for after high school. Others may decide to go further with a technical college or certificate.