Kent County Public Schools adds apprenticeship partners

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

The state of Maryland has established the expectation that by 2032, 45% of graduating seniors earn an industry-recognized credential through a Career and Technical Education 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 & Sons Inc., the State Highway Administration and Modern Stone Age Kitchen.

They join Kent County Public Schools’ roster of apprenticeships sites including Dixon Valve & Coupling Co., Red Acres Hydroponics, Greenscapes Land Care, 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,” Tom Porter, who coordinates the CTE and apprenticeship programs for Kent County Public Schools, said in a news release.

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

“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 & Sons.

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

“I wanted to work in agriculture,” Fuchs said of why he chose to sign on with an apprenticeship at Owings & Sons.

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

“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 in the news release. “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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