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Howard County Joins Expanded Apprenticeship Maryland Program

County to provide high school juniors and seniors with youth apprenticeship opportunities in STEM fields

BALTIMORE (Dec. 13, 2018) – Governor Larry Hogan, together with Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz and Maryland Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon, today announced Howard County will join the Apprenticeship Maryland Program (AMP) in 2019. Howard is the fourth county to participate in the youth apprenticeship program, which was launched statewide earlier this year following its successful two-year pilot in Frederick and Washington counties.

“Youth apprenticeship gives Maryland students a head start on their chosen career path by developing valuable career skills and a professional network during their apprenticeship,” said Governor Hogan. “The expansion of the youth apprenticeship program to Howard County ensures even more Maryland students will have greater access to training and career opportunities in the STEM fields.”

The Apprenticeship Maryland Program was founded in 2015 as a pilot in Frederick and Washington counties, and is a partnership between the Maryland Department of Labor, the Maryland State Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, the county public school system, community educational and business partners, and area employers. As in other participating counties, Howard County Public Schools will coordinate student placements.

Since its launch, the Maryland Apprenticeship Program has grown by 245 percent in the number of participating youth apprentices, and 292 percent growth in the number of participating businesses. With apprenticeable occupations in such industries as manufacturing, construction, and communications, students gain valuable work experience in growing fields.

“I am grateful to our dedicated partners for their shared commitment in ensuring our students are prepared for career success. We’re excited that Apprenticeship Maryland enables our students to gain invaluable experience and credentials in highly marketable fields while still in high school,” said HCPSS Superintendent Michael J. Martirano.

Youth apprenticeship program students work a minimum of 450 hours with a certified employer, while receiving related educational training through their high school. Participating students typically work during the summer after their junior year and during their senior year with a state-approved employer. They work with a mentor to learn valuable skills and earn industry credentials and high school credit.

“Giving our high school students an early opportunity to explore new skills through apprenticeship helps make sure their chosen career path is right for them without incurring costly tuition debt,” said Maryland Labor Secretary Schulz. “What’s more, youth apprenticeship is beneficial to employers. Apprenticeship builds a pipeline of talented, highly skilled workers, and helps businesses with succession planning, facilitating the transfer of knowledge from experienced employees to new recruits.”

“Over the last 15 years, Career and Technology Education in Maryland has evolved into a broad system of programs of study spanning a variety of challenging career fields,” said State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen B. Salmon. “Apprenticeship Maryland provides an outstanding opportunity for students to earn and learn by gaining valuable work experience while receiving credit toward graduation. This program is a win-win for both students and employers.”

Youth apprenticeship is open to all industries, with a priority on high-growth career fields such as those in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), and manufacturing. Howard County has established a goal of placing 25 students during the first year of the program.

High school juniors and seniors in Howard County interested in becoming a youth apprentice may contact HCPSS CTE Resource Teacher Stephanie Discepolo at 410-313-7493. Businesses interested in hiring a youth apprentice may contact Jeffrey Smith, Maryland Department of Labor program manager, at 410-767-0227.

Learn more about the Apprenticeship Maryland Program.

About the Maryland Department of Labor
The Maryland Department of Labor is committed to safeguarding and protecting Marylanders. We're proud to support the economic stability of the state by providing businesses, the workforce, and the consuming public with high-quality, customer-focused regulatory, employment, and training services. For updates and information, follow the Maryland Department of Labor on Twitter (@MD_Labor), Facebook and visit our website.

Theresa Blaner
Director, Communications and Media Relations

About Howard County Public Schools
The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) ensures the academic success and social-emotional well-being for each student in an inclusive and nurturing environment that closes opportunity gaps. The connections the school system establishes by valuing its students, families, and colleagues will empower all Howard County children to achieve success.

Howard County Public Schools
Brian Bassett

About the Maryland State Department of Education
The Maryland State Department of Education is dedicated to supporting a world-class educational system that prepares all students for college and career success in the 21st century. With excellent stewardship from our divisions, we oversee state and federal programs that support the needs of a diverse population–students, teachers, principals, and other educators –throughout Maryland. For updates and information, follow MSDE on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and visit our website.

State Department of Education
William Reinhard