WAUSAU- Yesterday, State Representative Katrina Shankland (D- Stevens Point) joined Governor Tony Evers and Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek at an event at Northcentral Technical College’s Training Center in Wausau to celebrate the announcement of a significant milestone— Wisconsin has reached the highest participation in the state’s Registered Apprenticeship program since 2001, with over 15,000 total participants statewide. Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program also recently reached an all-time record of 6,412 participants working at a record 4,478 employers across the state.

Rep. Shankland issued this statement following the announcement: 

“As the ranking legislator on the Assembly Committee on Workforce Development and a member of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment, I know how crucial it is to invest in developing our workforce and to provide people with the tools they need to enter their chosen careers and reduce barriers to employment. Apprenticeship programs do exactly this, yielding proven results that help young people and adults prepare for and enter careers in Wisconsin’s leading industries, which in turn strengthens our state’s economy and sets up our communities for success.

“I’m thrilled that Wisconsin currently has the highest participation in our state’s Registered Apprenticeship program since 2001, and we have more youth apprentices than ever before. I’m proud of these milestones and the leaders responsible for these significant accomplishments. In the Legislature this session, we passed a bill into law that I was glad to vote for to ensure that Wisconsin schools are getting the word out to students and their families about the youth apprenticeship programs that are available to them, 2021 Wisconsin Act 83. The Legislature can and should continue to introduce and pass this kind of bipartisan legislation to increase access to apprenticeship opportunities for students and adults alike. 

“Apprenticeships are vital pathways that connect people with opportunities to grow their skills for employment, work, and entrepreneurship. These historic milestones are representative of close collaboration between labor unions, technical colleges, employers, and other community partners. By integrating school-based and work-based learning and educating people on employability and occupational skills, we are building a workforce that is knowledgeable and well-equipped to be successful. I look forward to the impacts that our current apprentices and youth apprentices will undoubtedly make, and I appreciate our incredible labor unions, employers, technical colleges, and school districts for making Wisconsin a leader in apprenticeships!”

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