Please check any statements that you agree with:

__Paid on-the-job work is very important for youth.

__High Schools should be working with local businesses to develop a skilled work force.

__Career and Technical courses (Ag, Tech Ed., Business, and FCE) play a vital role in career exploration for students

__Skilled workers are hard to find and hard to keep.

If you checked any of the boxes above, get excited about Youth Apprenticeship!

What is the Youth Apprenticeship program?

Youth Apprenticeship (YA) integrates school-based and work-based learning to instruct students in employability and occupational skills defined by Wisconsin industries. Students are instructed by qualified teachers and skilled worksite mentors.  As an example, Jeff wants to participate in a YA program of study for Manufacturing.  He signs up for a YA with the schools YA Coordinator.  Jeff enrolls in 2 related courses at school that will assist him in his YA of Manufacturing.  Jeff gets a job at Bill’s Welding and Manufacturing and completes the skills checklist during the year and works at least 450 hours.  Upon completion of the program Jeff has gained amazing skills in Manufacturing, a paycheck, and has received a State Certificate, and his school received funding to increase Career and Technical Education.

Youth Apprenticeship Program Requirements     

  • Junior OR Senior year of High School
  • 450 hours of work-based learning MINIMUM for a one-year program, 900 hours of work based learning MINIMUM for a two-year program (this includes summer hours)
  • 2 semesters of related classroom instruction (CTE courses work great)

Programs of Study (11 areas of opportunity)

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
  • Architecture and Construction
  • Art, A/V Technology & Communications
  • Finance
  • Health Science
  • Hospitality, Lodging & Tourism
  • Information Technology
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing (New 2017-2018)
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
  • Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

What’s in it for the student?

  • Paid work experience, State skills certificate, 3 CVTC credits in Agriculture, schools are also offering other incentives to students such as; work release, gift incentives, school credits and equipment.

What’s in it for the employer?

  • Grow your workforce through skills based checklist, qualify for tax incentives, donate back to your schools CTE programs through this program.

What’s in it for the school?

  • $350 per student signed up for a YA Program, completed certificates qualify for an additional $1000 each, and work experience for students.

What to do next:

  • Contact the YA Coordinator in your school to publicize that your business is interested in partnering with high school juniors and seniors and building skilled workers.  We can sign students up during the year or prepare for next year as students continue to do career development.
  • Visit for more information

District         Name of Contact      Phone

Altoona                  Kelly Ostrander                           715-839-6031

Augusta                  Arika Kirkham                             715-286-3350

Bloomer                 Darren Swartz                             715-568-2800

Bruce                      Doug Schmitz                             715-868-2585

Cadott                   Keith Becker                                 715-289-4211

Chippewa Falls        Laura Bushendorf                        715-726-2406

Cornell                   Amy Stillman                               715-861-6989

Eau Claire               Drew Seveland                            715 852-3102

Eleva Strum            Jamie Stendahl                           715-695-2696

Fall Creek               Kayla Loewenhagen                     715-877-1090

Flambeau                Jodi Zimmer                               715-532-3183

Gilman                   Leigh Dobberstein                       715-447-8211

Gilmanton              Kory Rud                                    715-946-3158

Greenwood             Karla Vinci                                  715-267-6101

Ladysmith               Stacey Armitage                         715-532-5531

Lake Holcombe       Thea Hempel                              715-595-4241

McDonell                Ruthann Proue                             715-723-9126

Menomonie             Ryan Sterry                                715-232-2606

Neillsville                Amy Gerhardt                             715-743-8713

New Auburn            Nanette Goodman                       715-237-2505

Osseo-Fairchild       Sharon Steinke                           715-597-3141

Owen-Withee          Julie Kodl                                   715-229-2151

Stanley-Boyd          Tyler Kopplin                              715-644-5534

Thorp                     Sam Goettl                                 715-669-5401


Employers play a critical role in collaborating on new public-private approaches to closing the skills gap. Inspire Connections gives the west central Wisconsin region a unique opportunity to engage our future workforce by strengthening the relationship between our business and education communities. But, we need your help to ensure the initiative is successful.

Inspire Connections can help you improve your company’s local talent pipeline by connecting your company with students (6th grade through college), their parents and educators to inform them about your company and industry needs as well as work-based learning opportunities that you may offer. 

Enroll your company today to create a free employer profile that will reach your future talent!

If your company, organization or program doesn’t already have a profile, start here:


  • Increase your business’ visibility and highlight your community involvement
  • Promote careers that are available in the region and help students realize that there are many opportunities in your community
  • Nurture your future workforce by connecting with them early in their career development
  • Bridge the skills gap of students coming out of high school by communicating what the real world needs
  • Help build Wisconsin into a workforce-strong and economically vibrant state
  • Positively affect and directly address the region’s drop-out, graduation and unemployment rates