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WIDS Facilitated WI DWD Youth Apprenticeship Project

WIDS Facilitated WI DWD Youth Apprenticeship Project

Wisconsin’s Department of Work Force Development (DWD) is undergoing a modernization of their Youth Apprenticeship programs to ensure mastery of skills required by business and industry. DWD-Youth Apprenticeship is partnering with WIDS on this robust endeavor to increase the rigor and relevance of the 11 career clusters over the next three years.  Year one of the project is focusing on finance, healthcare, hospitality, information technology, and manufacturing. 

The Wisconsin initiative, referred to as the Youth Apprenticeship Modernization Project includes objectives that will increase the number of certificates students can earn, and allow them to move into progressive industries and registered apprenticeship programs.

Each Youth Apprenticeship program includes a defined set of competencies and performance criteria all youth apprentices will learn—regardless, the employer. These outcomes ensure that youth apprentices are mastering the skills needed to help them bridge into registered apprenticeships, college programs, or directly into the labor market upon high school graduation.  Youth Apprenticeship appeals to high school students by providing employer approved job entry skills and exposing them to new fields and career growth opportunities.

In Spring 2019, WIDS consultants began work with the DWD Youth Apprenticeship team on the three-year modernization plan. Their goal is to systematically update all of the 11 career clusters with over 55 existing  pathways and identify new pathways along the way. Updating and validating the competency checklists is the heart of the revision. WIDS consultants utilize state-of-the-art occupational analysis and instructional design practices ensuring that the Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship programs successfully meet the current and future needs of statewide industry.

In order to meet the objectives of the Youth Apprenticeship Modernization Project, WIDS works with teams of youth apprenticeship staff, employers, and educators to:  

  • conduct employer focus groups for feedback and validation
  • develop or revise competencies and performance standards based on employer input using the WIDS curriculum design software
  • ensure bridging opportunities from the Youth Apprenticeship to Registered Apprenticeship programs are considered and identified
  • identify courses for related instruction
  • select employer-approved or required certificates that will help youth apprentices progress in their careers

Upon approval of the curriculum documentation by Wisconsin DWD-Youth Apprenticeship staff, WIDS will facilitate a curriculum rollout to Youth Apprenticeship Coordinators throughout the state and provide training for a variety of stakeholder groups. 

A more detailed picture of the WIDS process for builidng apprenticeships, view our latest recorded webinar  Helping You Build Apprenticeships. Read more about Updates to Youth Apprenticeship  Programs in an article recently published by Katy Pettersen from the Wisconsin Technical College System. 

For more information about the WIDS software and consulting services, contact us any time!

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