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WorkSMART Connector Apprenticeships In Iowa - ‘Let’s Hear It For Students Who Boldly Pursue Apprenticeships!’

Published Thursday, November 11, 2021
by Terri Vos/Director Of Work-Based Learning For Iowa’s WorkSMART Connector
WorkSMART Connector Apprenticeships In Iowa - ‘Let’s Hear It For Students Who Boldly Pursue Apprenticeships!’

Apprenticeships and signing celebrations play into that shift very effectively.

Students who are committing to the WorkSMART Connector Apprenticeship Programs in Iowa already have and continue to put a lot of hard work and prep time toward their end goal.

When they arrive at signing day, it’s neither a beginning nor completion of their learning plan - it’s the culmination of their recruiting journey and celebrating their commitments to a college-level program.

Sound familiar?

There’s too often an assumption that Apprenticeships are for the students who focus on “experiential learning.”

While that is true for some, Apprenticeships are also for students who do very well in the traditional classroom setting and want to learn a skill.

Some are wisely building a resume toward that “dream job” with their Apprentice employer.

For others, an Apprenticeship provides access to an Associate Degree and then a Bachelor’s Degree, made more feasible due to Apprenticeship wages or eventual education assistance from their employers.

Apprenticeships such as those offered by WorkSMART Connector and the Career Academy of Pella are not a one-size-fits-all program - but instead, a customized pathway that allows a variety of student learners to pursue development pathways that best suit them and their situation.

Career pathways that best suit Iowans will also best serve Iowa and the employers who need a workforce to grow their businesses and the communities they support.

Regardless of one’s motivation for pursuing any career, there’s something that applies to everyone: today’s job applicants must be prepared for a lifetime of learning.

And Apprenticeships provide just that - from learning in high school classrooms, to learning on the job, to learning from a mentor, to learning how to develop oneself to meet education and career goals.

Watching students sign up for all that through an Apprenticeship is well worth celebrating.

It was a privilege to see dozens of parents, peers, employers, educators and community members celebrate 15 students from three different high schools going to nine different employers in four different fields, at a recent signing day event in Pella, Iowa.

While these students are nearing the end of their high school careers, this “signing” doesn’t mark the end of their formal learning goals.

Nor is it a completely unfamiliar beginning, as these are students who have demonstrated unique skill sets and a willingness to try new things for years already.

It’s a culmination and commitment to life-long learning that can shift the 44% of qualified workforce to preparing a majority of Workers for the job.

So, to the benefit of our State, let’s hear it for students who boldly pursue Apprenticeships.

Let’s hear it for employers who develop them and for the Educators and parents who encourage their unique learning pathways.

Let’s hear it for Aidan, Seth, Henry, Trenton, Vincent, Joshua, Carver, Carter, Katelyn, Marie, Thomas, Andrew, Connor, Joseph and Lucas for recently coming to the table in Pella, Iowa, and signing a commitment toward an even brighter future.

To Directly Access This Apprenticeship And Training Labor News Story, Go To: www.dsmpartnership.com/news-media/blog/student-signings--a-stronger-iowa

 

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