Dorchester County unveils new apprenticeship program
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.”
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.