A Topeka Unified School District 501 high school student sponsored by Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) will have the opportunity to work for the Kansas State Department of Education’s (KSDE) Information Technology team as part of the first Kansas Youth Registered Apprenticeship (YRA) in a Career and Technical Education pathway.
KSDE and the Kansas Department of Commerce have partnered to offer this YRA opportunity.
Youth Registered Apprenticeship programs are an innovative partnership between business and education that prepare high school students for challenging careers in Kansas’ leading industries. A YRA is a work-based learning opportunity that provides students both academic and workplace skills that can lead to postsecondary education opportunities and careers.
Youth apprentices receive paid on-the-job training along with job-related technical instruction that also supports high school graduation requirements. The youth apprentice works for an employer part-time, between 5 to 18 hours each week.
A YRA connects a high school student’s knowledge and skills acquired in a school’s KSDE-approved CTE program to an employer’s Registered Apprenticeship training, said Stacy Smith, assistant director for KSDE’s Career, Standards and Assessment Services (CSAS) team. A YRA program allows a student to begin his or her chosen career pathway training while still in high school.
“This is the first such program to be established in Kansas and will usher in the advancement of youth programs designed to support students in earn-and-learn education opportunities connected to the student Individual Plan of Study (IPS),” Smith said. “The Kansas Department of Commerce has been essential in developing this opportunity with KSDE. The program also includes a partnership with Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) and Topeka USD 501, which will support the youth placement through academic and technical training aligned with the IT occupation.”
Youth apprentices graduate from high school with skills and valuable work experience in addition to advanced credits in community colleges, technical colleges and adult Registered Apprenticeship programs, according to Kansas Works. Nationally, more than 75% of youth apprentice graduates enroll in a community college, technical college and/or university after graduation. All youth apprentice graduates who continue with a Registered Apprenticeship program maintain employment.
“We are all in when it comes to preparing students for future work, and these apprenticeships do just that,” Lt. Gov. and Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “We want and need innovative programs like Youth Registered Apprenticeship to provide interesting, worthwhile opportunities for students to earn while they learn important skills to prepare them for the workforce of the future.”
As registration with the federal registry for apprenticeships is finalized, Topeka high school students will be able to view the job posting for the Youth Registered Apprenticeship on the State of Kansas Jobs website, https://admin.ks.gov/services/state-employment-center/, as well as on the Kansas Department of Commerce’s website, https://www.kansasworks.com/.
For more information about YRAs, visit https://ksapprenticeship.org/information/.
The Kansas State Department of Education (www.ksde.org) provides leadership, resources, support and accountability to the state’s K-12 education system. KSDE administers the state’s governance of education, standards and assessments, special education services, child nutrition and wellness, title programs and services, career and technical education, and financial aid. It is the goal of the agency to provide all Kansas children with equal access to a quality, high-level education that promotes student achievement and prepares all students for global success.
About the Kansas Department of Commerce
As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas, the nation and world. Our strong partnerships allow us to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses. Through Commerce’s project successes, Kansas in 2021 was awarded Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel award and was named Site Selection Magazine’s Best Business Climate in the West North Central region of the United States. Find the Department’s strategic plan, Framework for Growth, at kansascommerce.gov.
About Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K)
JAG-K is a multiyear, in-school program for students in grades 7-12 that offers tools to successfully transition students into postsecondary education, the military or directly into the workforce with marketable skills. Participants in the program have great potential but face multiple barriers to success that their JAG-K Career Specialist helps them overcome through a nationally accredited, evidence-based model. The 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization is one of 40 state affiliates of the national Jobs for America’s Graduates organization. Find more information at www.JAGKansas.org.
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