by Benjamin Yount
Wisconsin’s next school report cards will give parents and students more information about the trades in general as well as learning a skill.
Gov. Tony Evers on Friday signed an apprenticeship plan, known as AB 220, into law.
Right now, high schools send all parents in their district information about all of the learning opportunities that their kids can apply for. The new law requires schools to add information about apprenticeships to that list.
Rep. Loren Oldenburg, R-Viroqua, wrote the plan. He said the new law will expose a new generation of kids to new opportunities.
“Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program is one of the greatest resources available to high school students in [the state],” Oldenburg said. “It gives students exposure to the trades, and other fields of employment that they may choose for their future careers.”
Rachel Ver Velde, the Director of Workforce, Education and Employment, for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce said the new state law will give many students their first look at the trades and skilled labor.
“We have to be training our students for careers in high demand fields,” Ver Velde told The Center Square. “As we see baby boomers retiring at higher numbers, we have to be able to replace that workforce. Wisconsin students should be encouraged to stay and grow here in Wisconsin.”
Wisconsin is facing a worker shortage, particularly in the trades and skilled manufacturing.
“Manufacturing is the backbone of the Wisconsin economy and too many Wisconsin schools are pushing a one track, 4 year degree focus on all students. Our state’s employers are desperate for good, quality workers and that doesn’t always, in fact often doesn’t, include a four year degree,” Ver Velde explained. “We need to encourage our schools and educational establishment to highlight all options available to students. And, that should include a large focus on skilled labor and the trades. These are good paying jobs that are available right now for our young people.”
The new law takes effect immediately. The list of apprenticeship programs should be included in schools’ annual report cards at the end of January.
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