New research outlines how local consortia are key to supporting a youth apprenticeship program for high school students in Wisconsin

A recent brief from the Urban Institute discusses the structure of a youth apprenticeship (YA) program in Wisconsin, which is the oldest and largest YA program in the U.S.
having served 8,358 high school students in the 2022-2023 school year. The brief explores the factors that have enabled the program to generate such a high number of
apprenticeships and includes perspectives from employers, state officials, and local program directors. The YA program consists of a collection of local consortia, which are
comprised of community-based education and/or workforce organizations that collaborate to host apprenticeships (e.g., school districts, chambers of commerce, the
Wisconsin Technical college system). Each consortium applies for grants that can be flexibly utilized to recruit employers and coordinate training in support of the
apprentices. Technical training is provided by consortium members (high schools or community colleges), further reducing costs to employers. The authors conclude that
the YA program has a high return on investment—costing less than ten percent of a year of high school education, the program provides at least 450 hours/year of work-based learning that helps students to become financially independent and gain real-world job skills.