Dorch­ester County un­veils new ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gram

Dorchester Star - - REGIONAL - By NATE NKUMBU nnkumbu@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — Dorch­ester County ju­nior and se­nior year high school stu­dents have a new post sec­ondary op­tion avail­able to them as Lt. Gov. Boyd Ruther­ford and the county’s Board of Ed­u­ca­tion an­nounced a newly started ap­pren­tice­ship pro­gram Tues­day, July 17.

Ruther­ford, along­side with Cam­bridge Mayor Vic­to­ria Jack­son-Stanley, As­sis­tant State Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. Lynne Gilli and state La­bor Sec­re­tary Kelly Schulz signed the Ap­pren­tice­ship Mary­land Pro­gram at the school board’s main build­ing at 700 Glas­gow Street. The pro­gram al­lows high school ju­niors and se­niors the op­por­tu­nity to work and get paid in a field of their in­ter­est pro­fes­sion­ally while at­tend­ing school

Ruther­ford said Dorch­ester’s pro­gram is the first fully-in­te­grated ver­sion of set in place.

“The ap­pren­tice­ship pro­grams are crit­i­cal to sat­is­fy­ing a work force need that is out there,” he said. There is a short­age of skilled la­bor so not only is it good for those busi­ness look­ing for those la­bor but also the young peo­ple who are look­ing at what they are go­ing to do af­ter high school.”

The pro­gram, which started in 2015, is a part­ner­ship be­tween the Mary­land De­part­ment of La­bor, State De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion, De­part­ment of Com­merce, county pub­lic school sys­tem, lo­cal ed­u­ca­tional and busi­ness part­ners and em­ploy­ers.

“We had some bumps and hur­dles that had to get through and we per­fected to a point that next year, we are ready to roll it out,” Schulz said.

In­dus­tries like con­struc­tion, cy­ber se­cu­rity and other STEM (Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math) re­lated fields were some of the fields tar­geted for the pro­gram but Schulz said the pro­gram can and will in­clude other ar­eas of com­merces that are look­ing for new em­ploy­ers.

She said all of these pro­grams should help stu­dent when they de­cided to make their post sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion de­ci­sion

“Youth ap­pren­tice­ship is a great way for stu­dents to re­ceive train­ing and make sure their cho­sen ca­reer path is right for them, while avoid­ing costly tu­ition debt,” Schulz said. “They also get a head start on ap­ply­ing for jobs af­ter high school, be­cause of the valu­able ca­reer skills and pro­fes­sional net­work that they will de­velop dur­ing their ap­pren­tice­ship.”

PHOTO BY NATE NKUMBU

Lt. Gov. Boyd Ruther­ford, cen­ter left, meets with Dorch­ester County Pub­lic Schools Su­per­in­ten­dent Dr. Diana Mitchell and mem­bers of the Dorch­ester Board of Ed­u­ca­tion Tues­day, July 17.

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