Contact: Austin Altenburg
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Policy rollout includes TV ad, speeches across Wisconsin highlighting how expansion of youth apprenticeships will help increase graduation rates, build our workforce

[Madison, Wis.] – Scott Walker today unveiled the first policy proposal of his agenda to keep Wisconsin working for generations to come, describing his plan to expand Youth Apprenticeship programming to 7th and 8th graders – an initiative aimed at helping to increase graduation rates and build our workforce. As part of the governor’s policy rollout, his campaign launched his next statewide TV ad and provided a policy paper detailing the proposal that the governor will be discussing across the state over the next few weeks.

Currently, Youth Apprenticeships are available to 11th and 12th graders, and the governor’s plan will extend programming to all high schoolers as well as 7th and 8th graders. The expanded Youth Apprenticeship program will provide hands-on, age-appropriate opportunities both in the classroom and in the community across a variety of industries. Providing this curriculum earlier will ensure Wisconsin’s students know all of the educational opportunities and career paths that are available to them, and help them plan their classroom learning for the years ahead. Among the goals of the governor’s plan to keep Wisconsin working for generations to come is to make Wisconsin No. 1 in the nation for graduation rates.

You can watch the ad on the governor’s policy proposal, entitled “Jumpstart” here. You can find more details on the plan in the Policy Paper here. The ad begins:

Governor Walker: In Wisconsin, we’re rethinking K-12 education.

Tiffany: Technical design.

Tony: Electrician.

Governor Walker: Giving high school graduates options other than a four-year degree.

Alex: Metal fabrication.

Governor Walker: We doubled funding for fab labs so students can get the hands on technical experience employers are looking for.

Grace: Computer programming.

Governor Walker: Our new plan expands youth apprenticeship programs so seventh and eighth graders can get a jump-start on the skilled trades.

Tony: And keep Wisconsin working for generations to come.

The spot will run on television as well as on a range of online and social media platforms. It is the fifteenth ad the Walker campaign is running on the governor’s strong record of getting positive things done and his plans for more bold reform to keep Wisconsin working for generations to come.

Walker campaign ads have long highlighted the governor’s record on building our workforce, investing in education, jobs and the economy, Foxconn’s statewide economic impact, bringing down health care costs, support for rural communities, efforts to help students with disabilities, fighting the opioid epidemic, and more.

Key Facts on Scott Walker’s Youth Apprenticeship Expansion

  • Currently, youth apprenticeships are available for 11th and 12th  graders. Under the governor’s plan, programming associated with Youth Apprenticeships will now be available to the remainder of Wisconsin’s high school students, as well as 7th and 8th graders.
  • Over the past 10 years, Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program has more than doubled its student participation, from 1,827 students in 2008 to 4,365 students in 2018.

Educational leaders, employers, and students from across the state have shown how helpful Youth Apprenticeship programs are to building our workforce:

  • “Our company has experienced great success with the Youth Apprenticeship program, including providing us with another conduit for potential untapped talent,” said Tammy Meyers, Human Resources Director at Altmann Construction Company, Inc. “Our youth apprentices have interest in working in construction, and we are continually impressed with their ability to balance school, apprenticeship requirements and extracurricular activities, such as sports.”
  • “Previously, a number of employers expressed concerns or were unwilling to accept youth apprentices who were under the age of 18,” said Dane County School Consortium Director Josh Fassl. “Thanks to the student learner exemption and extra program protections, many more employers are participating and finding great value in the YA program.” … “YA also serves as a bridge to Wisconsin’s nationally recognized Registered Apprenticeship program,” said Fassl. “By providing a seamless transition between these important job training programs, we save employers and apprentices time and money.”
  • “You get the job experience, learn how the field works, see what they want you to do in that job and what they’re expecting of you,” [student Jacob] Katz said. “It helps us figure out what we want to do with our lives.”
  • “I’m coming out of college debt free,” [Treyton] Sloniker said. “I have all of my college experiences done on the job site, with just very little time in the classroom, and I am all set doing what I want to do. I love it. Just makes it so much easier, less stressful for me.”
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