MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) launched the first tier of modernized Youth Apprenticeship (YA) program curriculum, which will be used in the 2020-2021 school year.

The modernization project increases the rigor and relevance of the 11 career clusters and associated 55 pathways currently used in YA.  DWD is ensuring that the curriculum offers seamless alignment with the Registered Apprenticeship (RA) program, maximizes dual enrolment credits, increases the number of certificates a student may earn, and reflects emerging technologies.

“Youth Apprenticeship is a valuable program that introduces high school juniors and seniors to career pathways and connects employers with new potential employees,” DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman said. “Updating program curriculum ensures that YA adequately meets the current and future needs of Wisconsin industries and our workforce. Creating a seamless transition to related RAs and increasing transferrable credits and credentials sets students up for success as they start on their post-secondary pathway.”

DWD’s curriculum modernization will be released in three tiers. Tier I features curriculum in the following career clusters and occupations:

Finance Cluster

Occupational Pathways:

  • Accounting
  • Banking
  • Insurance

Health Science Cluster

Occupational Pathways:

  • Medical Office
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Resident Aide (NEW)

Hospitality & Tourism Cluster

Occupational Pathways:

  • Food and Beverage Services
  • Lodging
  • Meetings and Events

Information Technology Cluster

Occupational Pathways:

  • Broadband Technician (NEW)
  • IT Essentials
  • Network & Security
  • Software & Application Development

Manufacturing Cluster

Occupational Pathways:

  • Assembly & Packaging
  • Industrial Equipment
  • Machining
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Production Operations
  • Welding

Tiers II and III will be rolled out over the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years, respectively.

Tier II

Art, Audio/Visual Technology and Communications

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Architecture and Construction 

Tier III

Health Care – Part 2


Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

To update the curriculum, DWD staff reached out to YA participating employers, industry associations, and other relevant stakeholders to gather feedback and input regarding the training and education needs within their industry.

“YA’s continued success is due to its focus on partnerships with businesses and industry leaders to ensure the curriculum is built for each occupation to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in both these particular occupations, as well as post-secondary education,” Secretary Frostman said.

The outreach resulted in the creation of additional programs of in-demand occupations, including Broadband Technician. YA program staff worked with industry experts, such as those at the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association (WSTA) to create a new YA program to address the training need for this occupation and develop systems to connect it with the RA in the same field.

“WSTA members were honored to play a role in the creation of the Broadband Technician Youth Apprenticeship,” said Bill Esbeck, WSTA Executive Director. “We recognize the value of apprenticeship for Wisconsin’s youth and the partnerships which facilitate curriculum development, training, and career opportunities. The new program will help our members attract and train the workforce necessary to maintain Wisconsin’s critical broadband infrastructure.”

Employers or students interested in learning more about the Youth Apprenticeship program can visit

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