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National Youth Apprenticeship Week

National Youth Apprenticeship Week, May 5-11, with photos of two students at work

ROCK HALL — Kent County Public Schools is joining in the celebration of National Youth Apprenticeship Week, May 5-11.

The state has established the expectation that by 2032, 45% of graduating seniors earn an industry-recognized credential through a career and technical education (CTE) program or complete the equivalent of a high school-level apprenticeship.

Kent County Public Schools continues expanding its Youth Apprenticeship Program to meet that goal.

Those efforts led to the school system welcoming this year three new apprenticeship partners: Owings and Sons Inc., the State Highway Administration and Modern Stone Age Kitchen.

These businesses and agencies join Kent County Public Schools' roster of apprenticeships sites including Dixon Valve, Red Acres Hydroponics, Greenscapes Landcare, Horsey Construction and Chesapeake CNC Manufacturing.

"This week, we celebrate those workplaces and we applaud our student apprentices for their commitment to work-based learning," said Tom Porter, who coordinates the CTE and apprenticeship programs for Kent County Public Schools.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor and Apprenticeship USA, the number of students participating in apprenticeship program increased 118% over the last decade, from 119,996 to 262,221 youths.

"The growth of our own youth apprenticeship program demonstrates our belief in the instructional value of workplaces in Kent County," Porter said.

Two Kent County High School students are currently enrolled in apprenticeships, Ethan Clark at Chesapeake CNC Manufacturing and Trevor Fuchs at Owings and Sons.

During his apprenticeship work periods, Fuchs can be found working fields and pursing his career dreams in farming.

Trevor Fuchs on a tractor

"I wanted to work in agriculture," Fuchs said of why choose to sign on with an apprenticeship at Owings and Sons.

Likewise for Clark, he saw an apprenticeship at Chesapeake CNC Manufacturing as an opportunity to get a jumpstart in the workforce.

Ethan Clark at work

"I encourage everyone to try and get an apprenticeship, it gives you an idea to see if you like the field of work that you chose," Clark said. "It also can carry over into summer, depending on you and your employer, so you have the chance of having a good summer job."

Learn more about Kent County Public Schools' CTE program at www.kent.k12.md.us/CTEProgram.aspx.

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