By Nancy Bonnifield
Students at Kimball Area High School will soon have a learning experience designed for outside the traditional classroom: Youth Apprenticeship. Partnering with local business and industry, Kimball Schools will match youth with an experience tailored for the career interest of the student.
WhyiIs there a need for Youth Apprenticeship?
As the workforce ages, many employers are already straining to find new workers. The increasing number of older workers is one of the most significant changes occurring in Minnesota’s economy. If fact, according to MN Employment and Economic Development, in 2015 Central Minnesota had 20 percent of its workforce age 55+ which is a significant increase over the past decade.
How does Youth Apprenticeship work?
Students express their interest in an apprenticeship opportunity. They must designate a career cluster they are interested in pursuing, then complete a course in that cluster area. Once enrolled in Youth Apprenticeship, students complete a career seminar with teacher Michaela Gallup which covers safety, workplace laws, workers rights, and employability skills. The seminar will begin as a two-week face-to-face course, then transition to an online course for the remainder of the semester. Students will interview with a business offering an apprenticeship in their career cluster, then begin a 450-hour apprenticeship. The apprenticeship is designed to offer students experience in all aspects of the business which may include marketing, manufacturing, finance, logistics, scheduling, etc. The business will determine the wage offered to the student, but some businesses are interested in not only offering a competitive wage, but tuition reimbursement if the student continues with the company. The student will earn high school credit for successful completion of the apprenticeship.
What businesses are involved in the partnership?
On Dec. 17, KAHS hosted an informational lunch for business leaders. The program was explained to the nine businesses represented at the meeting. Businesses attending the meeting included Kimball Community Education, Park Industries, The Body Training Shed, Arnold’s of Kimball, Jorgensen Pottery, Malco Products, AM Maus & Son, Harvest Bank, and CNR Contractors. Several business committed to partnering with Kimball Schools, and since the meeting other local businesses have expressed interest in the program. Kimball Golf Club, for example, is eager to host an apprentice as soon as a student is available.
We look forward to offering this exciting opportunity to our students. If your business is interested in learning more, please call the high school principal, Nancy Bonnifield at (320) 398-7700 x1310.