DWD Announces a New Resource for Wisconsinites: Apprenticeship Navigators
Apprenticeship is an industry-driven training model that combines on-the-job learning with job-related classroom instruction. As an “earn and learn” model, apprentices are employed and earn wages from their first day on the job. Upon completion of their programs, apprentices earn an average of $80,000. Apprenticeship opportunities are available in the traditional construction, manufacturing, utility, and service sectors, as well as emerging areas like health care, information technology, finance, transportation, biotech, and agriculture.
Navigators will largely focus on underrepresented populations who have had historically low apprenticeship participation numbers. They will serve as mentors, providing details of each apprenticeship program and guiding their mentees to an apprenticeship path that fits their interests.
“Apprenticeship is for everyone,” said Joshua Johnson, director of Wisconsin Apprenticeship System. “It’s all about finding the right fit for each individual. Navigators will set individuals up for success by providing them accurate tools and resources.”
- Guide people through the various programs to determine which apprenticeship is right for them,
- Help people develop their apprenticeship portfolio,
- Educate people on the qualification requirements for apprenticeship programs they are interested in,
- Connect and network with community members to help market, educate, and promote apprenticeship programs, and
- Help build a talent pool of apprentices for employers to select from.
Navigators will also assist organizations with the application process to build a certified pre-apprenticeship program.
Four out of the five navigators will work with the general public, while the fifth navigator will be dedicated to working with people who are incarcerated within the Department of Corrections (DOC). The DOC navigator will connect incarcerated men and women to certified pre-apprenticeship opportunities prior to their release. Upon re-entering society, the navigator will support them in finding apprenticeship opportunities in their area.
Navigators will be a valuable resource for many people, including those who are looking to change professional industries, veterans, dislocated workers, individuals with disabilities, and individuals who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated.
“After working in the private sector doing Human Resources for 30 years, I always felt that Registered Apprenticeship was the best kept secret to employment,” said Dawn Pratt, a navigator for southeast Wisconsin. “Registered Apprenticeship is an additional post-secondary opportunity that can provide a family sustaining income. This opportunity especially applies to our younger generation that do not want to be burdened with student debt.”
People interested in apprenticeship can now contact their area Apprenticeship Navigator:
Navigator Jessica Gitter (firstname.lastname@example.org; 262-894-5624) will cover the following counties: Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Walworth, Buffalo, Trempealeau, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Juneau, Vernon, and Crawford.
Navigator Jessica Williams (email@example.com; 920-404-6877) will cover the following counties: Florence, Marinette, Oconto, Menominee, Shawano, Waupaca, Outagamie, Calumet, Brown, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Door, Marinette, Vilas, Oneida, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, Wood, Adams, Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, Iron, Burnett, Washburn, Sawyer, Rusk, Price, and Taylor.
Navigator Jeff Kennedy (Jkennedy@wdbscw.org; 608-249-9001 x 230) will cover the following counties: Marquette, Columbia, Dodge, Dane, Sauk, Jefferson, Richland, Iowa, Grant, Lafayette, Green, and Rock.
Navigator Milton Rogers (firstname.lastname@example.org; 608-266-3332) will cover Department of Corrections statewide.