Alliance advocates to expand youth apprenticeship opportunities

Workforce development is the number one issue facing Waukesha County, the region and our state. An Alliance survey found that more than 85% of Waukesha County employers plan to expand their workforce in the next three years, yet 82% are unable to find enough qualified workers.

The Waukesha County Business Alliance supports Assembly Bill 72, which would expand Youth Apprenticeship opportunities to students and employers in the areas of education/training, public safety, human services, business administration and government administration. Adding these occupations would mean that the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development would be offering curriculum in all 16 career clusters for Youth Apprenticeship.

AB72 gives high school juniors and seniors opportunities to work in these fields while obtaining the education they need to pursue the field upon high school graduation. All employers need access to the DWD Youth Apprenticeship program as an option to build a pipeline of interested individuals to fill open positions in the short and long term. This legislation would expand employers’ access to a pool of qualified workers and give students experiential learning opportunities.

Wisconsin’s Youth Apprenticeship program has proven to be both popular and extremely beneficial for students and employers. This legislation would expand Youth Apprenticeship even further to provide students with training opportunities and assist employers in filling workforce gaps in even more high-demand fields. The Alliance supports this legislation, as it aligns with our goal to foster effective education pathways that prepare students for job opportunities in the marketplace today and in the future.

The Alliance has a broad and diverse membership representing everything from sole proprietorships to some of the largest employers in the region from a variety of industries. Our 1,200 member organizations represent more than 75,000 employees. Anything we can do to align education with business and prepare students for success is a win-win.

Amanda Payne
Vice President, Public Policy
Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc.

Suzanne Kelley
President & CEO
Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc.