Four Rivers Career Center is pleased to announce the creation of the Youth Registered Apprenticeship Program in coordination with TransPORTS and the Missouri Department of Labor and with full support from the City of Washington and the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Department of Labor officially approved the FRCC Youth Registered Apprenticeship (YRA) program standards as a nationally recognized and registered intermediary. The FRCC stands as the newest YRA program in Missouri Career and Technical Education.
Andy Robinson, FRCC Director, and Andrea Wieland, Career and College Specialist, have laid the ground work through effective internship (pre-apprenticeship) programs with their industry relevant instructors.
FRCC is setting high standards of qualifications for high school students to qualify through aptitude, academic performance, and work ethic. This merit-based job placement will utilize the top performing students for on the job training, using an earn-while-you-learn model with local employers in high demand.
“Rigorous and relevant career technical education through our instructors at Four Rivers Career Center is producing highly qualified skill trade workers,” Robinson said. “We are bridging the gap between 21st century education and employment needs of our community. We do not just graduate highly skilled students, but we help launch them into their long-term career path.”
The first occupations registered are through the Machine Tool program. Tool and Die Maker and Machinist will be the first apprenticeable occupations as the launch of the YRA program takes shape.
Advanced Manufacturing companies, Homeyer and G & H Tool/Tool Tech are long-term supporters and partners with FRCC advisory councils and internship program.
Gretchen Homeyer, Director of Business Operations, Homeyer Precision Manufacturing, and Julie Scannell, Tool Tech Human Resources Administrator, were the first employers to sign the Department of Labor YRA agreements. Employers are selected by administration and instructors.
KJ Unnerstall Construction and Modern Auto, Inc. have recently joined the industry partner lineup as this program is exponentially expanding to meet the immediate needs of the City of Washington.
“We are thrilled and would like to pass along our congratulations to the Four Rivers Career Center for the launch of this program,” said Sal Maniaci, Community and Economic Development Director for the City of Washington. “Washington’s growing industries are fortunate to now have another tool to find and train the future of their workforce. The YRA Program not only gives companies the opportunity to find skilled and reliable workers but it also solidifies the vital business and education relationship in this community.”
Robinson and Wieland recently received notification that TransPORTS accepted the proposal for partnership. As a part of his vision, Robinson has long desired to reinstate the Department of Labor’s apprenticeship initiatives into FRCC. As a first step, he received his first investment of $40,000 to help offset costs of hiring a coordinator, establishing the program, and launching this program into the community.
TransPORTS Project and Marketing Communications Manager Katie Adams has partnered with numerous entities across the nation. As one of only eight national industry intermediaries for the U.S. Department of Labor, they are dedicated to expanding register apprenticeship. Four Rivers is one of only six organizations nationally and the only registered youth apprenticeship to receive funding.
“TransPORTS is proud to partner with Four Rivers’ as a valuable, nation leading program,” Adams said. “Their registered apprenticeship program will link students with employers giving them a strong head start on career paths that pay a family supporting wage and provide opportunities for professional growth.”
Robinson and Wieland welcome Cynthia Walker as the new apprenticeship coordinator. She comes to the School District of Washington after heading up two successful Career and Technical Center Youth Registered Apprenticeship Programs in Missouri that received both national and state recognition.
Wieland will be working closely with Walker as they enhance the internship and college articulation opportunities for FRCC apprentices.
“Youth Registered Apprenticeships use a proven earn-while-you-learn model by combining the excellence in career technical education and employer-provided on the job training, resulting in a highly skilled, sustainable workforce,” Walker said. “We can all find hope in this next generation of workers to be contributions to our community. Youth apprentices are doing something today their future self will appreciate.”
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