Funding Secured for Maryland Pre-Apprenticeship Program's Second Student Group

The program prepares motivated youth through classroom instruction and hands-on skills training for employment and registered apprenticeship in one of the fastest-growing occupations in construction.

Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz on Nov. 29 announced funding for the second cohort of the Pathways to Success Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship Program. The only opportunity of its kind in the state, the program prepares motivated youth through classroom instruction and hands-on skills training for employment and registered apprenticeship in one of the fastest-growing occupations in construction. "Youth apprenticeship provides young workers with a head start on a career pathway by building valuable skills and a professional network," said Schulz. "Through the Pathways to Success program, Howard County students will gain real-life experience performing meaningful work in a high-demand industry, with an opportunity to continue into a registered apprenticeship program following graduation."

Pathways to Success is a collaboration between the state Department of Labor, Howard County Office of Workforce Development, Howard County Public School System, and the Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake. Through this pre-apprenticeship program, up to 15 young people from the Career Research and Development program at HCPSS and Howard County Office of Workforce Development will be given an opportunity to begin a career in the electrical trade.

"The Pathways pre-apprenticeship program offers a valuable option for our students to prepare for a rewarding, in-demand career while in high school," said HCPSS Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. "This is another example of our work to leverage community and state partners to provide innovative college and career pathways for our students, and I am deeply grateful to Independent Electrical Contractors and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation for their collaboration and support."

Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake will conduct a 200-hour electrical trade pre-apprenticeship program for the enrolled students, which will include a combination of hands-on training and classroom instruction. Each student successfully completing the program and meeting minimum criteria will secure employment as a registered apprentice and will continue on to IEC's registered apprenticeship program.

"IEC Chesapeake is very excited to again partner with the Maryland Department of Labor, Howard County Public Schools, and Howard County Government to offer this training to students, said Grant Shmelzer, executive director of IEC Chesapeake. "This will continue to help companies meet the growing demand of electrical workers in the region and expand the youth apprenticeship program initiated by Governor Hogan several years ago."

The new Pathways cohort will begin at IEC on Jan. 7, 2019, with classes continuing through May 2019.

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