Maryland school leaders working to expand learning

Maryland school leaders discussed plans to expand the state’s apprenticeship program, allowing more teens to get paid on-the-job training before entering the labor market. work.

Maryland school leaders discussed plans to expand the state’s apprenticeship program, allowing more teens to get paid on-the-job training before entering the labor market. work.

The program, called Apprenticeship Maryland, began six years ago as a pilot program in Frederick and Washington counties. And over the past four years, the program has transformed.

Headteachers said some apprenticeships had a long waiting list.

“It works,” learning specialist Jennifer Griffin told state board members at their monthly meeting on Tuesday. “It works for students. It works for businesses.

The program allows students 16 and older to enroll in the summer or fall of their junior or senior year.

During the course, they are matched with local businesses and complete a minimum of 450 hours of on-the-job training, in addition to their other high school responsibilities. Students are paid minimum wage, Griffin said.



Most apprenticeships take place in the manufacturing sector; and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The goal is for 45% of graduate students in the state to complete an apprenticeship, said state superintendent Mohammed Choudhury.

Griffin said companies like the program because it provides a highly skilled local workforce.

“What we hope is that at the end of the apprenticeship companies will make an offer of employment,” Griffin said. “We hope many companies will see the value in this.”

Griffin told the board about an alumnus named Suzanne Harkins, who entered the program as a senior in 2016. She was paired with Insul-Tech, a commercial and industrial mechanical insulation contractor. She is now a student at West Virginia University, working remotely for the company.

“They have the agreement that after she graduates, they’re going to expand a site in West Virginia and she’s going to run it for them,” Griffin said.

Headteachers did not follow up on the idea during their meeting. However, board members are looking for ways to find more funding and partner with more companies.

“(Maryland State Department of Education) is really committed to expanding learning,” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Deann Collins. “It’s all about the students. »

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