College and Career

Pathways System

Initiative: Youth Apprenticeship Program

Modern Youth Apprenticeships

A result of years of collaboration and brainstorming to figure out how to work together in Elkhart County, industry, education and government, working together, launched a solution to our workforce challenges. CareerWise Colorado was identified as the model for Elkhart County after researching models in Germany and Switzerland, where this type of apprenticeship has been part of the education system for decades.

Led by HEA staff, CareerWise Elkhart County has launched to open career opportunities for local students in their junior year of high school. Youth Apprenticeships have five components: Starting in high school as a junior, receiving high school credit, college credit, industry certifications, paid employment, and in some cases, registered with the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Future of the Youth Apprenticeship Program

Twelve students started in the program in the 2019-20 school year, with the hope of dozens more participating next school year. The three occupations available for the apprentices this year are project coordination, computer technician, and industrial manufacturing technician. Additional occupations and industries will be added in coming years.