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CTE / Construction
        Page 14                                                                                                Electronic Edition: www .teachingtodaywi .com

                     MPS’ Largest Group of Construction Youth Apprentices So Far

                     Commit to Facilities Program

                                                                                   Work  in  the  skilled  construction  trades   to fill out applications, put together résumés, and
                                                                                means  job  security,  Wisconsin  Bureau  of   conduct themselves in job interviews.
                                                                                Apprenticeship  Standards  Director David  Polk   “We want to make sure that we do every-
                                                                                said on Senior Signing Night. “This is the most   thing we can to put actions in place so you can be
                                                                                secure job you can have. You’re always going to   successful,” Cherney said.
                                                                                have work. There’s always going to be a need”   Giles  Patterson,  the Youth Apprenticeship
                                                                                for workers in the skilled trades, said Polk, an   Program administrator for Facilities and Mainte-
                                                                                MPS alumnus and a licensed plumber.    nance, told the students, “All we ask that you do
                                                                                   Darryl L. Jackson, of the Milwaukee Board   your part, and we’ll do our part.”
                                                                                of School Directors, told students he, too, started   Madison  Kyles  is  a  junior  at  Rufus  King
                                                                                in  the  skilled  trades  after  graduating  from  the   International  High  School  who  is  six  months
                                                                                former  Milwaukee  Trade  and  Technical  High   into  her  youth  apprenticeship  in  the  Facilities
                                                                                School,  now  Bradley  Technology  and  Trade   electrical  shop.  She  comes  from  a  family  of
                                                                                School.                            tradespeople and aspires to be a master electri-
                                                                                   “People say the trades don’t exist at MPS.   cian.
                                                                                Clearly, they do,” Jackson said.       “Be grateful for this experience, because it
                                                                                   “The opportunity that you all have today is   is a really great experience,” Madison told the
                                                                                life changing, and not just for you — for your   new youth apprentices. “There are a lot of good
                                                                                brothers, your sisters, anybody else who looks up   people here who are willing to help you. Please
                                                                                to you,” he told the new youth apprentices.  run with this opportunity.”
        Milwaukee Public Schools            going to be so much fun for me,” said Luis, who   The  school  district  provides  the  youth
            Milwaukee  Public  Schools’  newest  group   said he’s always been curious about how wiring   apprentices  with  their  first  pair  of  work  boots
        of construction youth apprentices was its biggest   works.  “I  really  appreciate  the  opportunity   and, when needed, helps with transportation and
        yet,  and  the  students  represent  the  most  high   they’ve given me, and I can’t wait to see what   tutoring. The district’s work-based learning spe-  mps.milwaukee.
        schools since the program began five years ago.    happens in the future.”    cialists in schools make sure students know how
            Twenty-nine  Milwaukee  Public  Schools   Signing Night for MPS youth apprentices
        juniors and seniors from 15 schools committed to   is at least as significant as signing day is for the
        learn their chosen trades at the MPS Department   NCAA’s  athletes,  Cherney  said.  “They’re  set,”
        of Facilities and Maintenance Services, 1124 N.   she  said  of  the  MPS  students.  That’s  because   WHS Consumer Home & Auto
        11th St.                            youth apprenticeships give students an advantage
            That’s  also  where  the  new  youth  appren-  as they work toward a secure future for them-  Students Complete Wall Project
        tices took part in Signing Night ceremonies in   selves — and for their families.
        February, in front of cheering family members   “We are creating generational wealth,” Dan   Whitewater Unified School
        and MPS staff.  Students were to get paid while   Swiatkowski  told  the  students.  Swiatkowski  is   District
        they  worked  and  learned  skills  in  plumbing,   the  apprenticeship  program  administrator  for   Whitewater   High
        electrical, steamfitting, machine shop, and sheet   MPS Facilities and Maintenance.    School   (WHS)   Con-
        metal work.                             Swiatkowski  told  the  youth  apprentices   sumer  Home  and  Auto
            The  previous  year,  13  students  from  five   they would begin by learning safety and first aid   students have accomplished
        schools  committed  to  the  construction  youth   in the classroom before advancing to the hands-  remarkable  feats  and  built
        apprenticeship  program.  The  juniors  from  last   on  portion  of  the  apprenticeship.  each  student   valuable  skills  during  a
        year were still enrolled in the program, so Facili-  is paired with a mentor who is a journeyman in   lengthy, hands-on project.
        ties and Maintenance teaches and employs about   their chosen trade.       The    comprehensive
        three dozen youth apprentices now. MPS in total   “Wherever that journeyman goes, you go.   wall  project  equipped  stu-
        has about 100 youth apprentices; Wisconsin has   Whatever that journeyman does, you do. That’s   dents   with   theoretical
        79 apprenticeship pathways to varied careers.  how you learn a skill. That’s how you learn a   understanding  and  allowed
            The new youth apprentices are from Mil-  trade,” said Swiatkowski, who also is a mainte-  them to apply their learning
        waukee School of Languages, Hamilton, Vincent,   nance and repair supervisor for MPS.  in a practical setting. The students began with   themselves. This project always brings a sense
        Golda Meir, North Division, South Accelerated   High school seniors in the program would   the  fundamentals  of  construction,  learning   of accomplishment and confidence for the stu-
        Academy,  Audubon,  South  Division,  Reagan,   start  working  as  soon  as  mid-March,  going  to   how to build and frame a 4’ by 4’ wall using   dents.”
        King,  Riverside,  Pulaski,  MacDowell,  Obama,   school half days and working half days until the   2x4s, with studs precisely spaced at 16 inches   The  success  of  this  semester-long
        and Bradley Technology and Trade. It’s not only   end of the school year. They then work full time   on center.  endeavor  underscores  the  effectiveness  of
        the largest group of schools, it’s the most diverse,   over the summer.    Students  next  cut  and  hung  drywall  on   experiential  learning  in  preparing  students
        noted Erin Cherney, the MPS College and Career   Juniors were to work on any school non-  the  frame  and  were  introduced  to  the  art  of   for  practical  challenges  they  may  encounter
        Readiness Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator —   attendance weekday until the end of the school   mudding  both  flat  and  corner  seams.  Then,   in the future. The Consumer Home and Auto
        that  is,  they  go  beyond  the  traditional  schools   year. They will work full time for a week at the   they  delved  into  electrical  work  and,  after   program at WHS continues to provide students
        offering classes in the trades.     end of summer and then start half days of work   installing a one-way light switch, finished their   with a dynamic and engaging education that
            Maw Shu Klay, a senior at Riverside uni-  in the fall.              project with paint, using proper technique.  goes  beyond  the  classroom,  preparing  them
        versity  High  School,  signed  up  for  a  youth   After  graduating  from  high  school,  the   “I am so proud of the hard work the stu-  for success in both their personal and profes-
        apprenticeship  in  sheet  metal  work,  where  he   youth apprentices can go on to apply to a union   dents put into this extensive project. We spent   sional lives.
        would  be  learning  about  heating  and  cooling   or an employer who has a registered apprentice-  extra time honing techniques in the hands-on
        systems.  “Building  and  repairing  things,  when   ship  available.  MPS  and  the  nonprofit  WRTP   steps  that  they  will  likely  use  in  their  own
        things work out — I really like seeing that kind   | BIG STeP will work with students to ensure   homes in the future,” said Mr. Justin Buntrock,
        of stuff,” Maw Shu said.            they  meet  any  union  qualifications,  and  MPS   WHS  Automotive  instructor.  “My  favorite
            Pulaski  senior  Luis  Gallegos  was  to  be  a   also helps students navigate the union and new   part is watching the excitement in the students
        youth apprentice in the electrical shop. “This is   employer along the way. “We don’t leave them   when they flip the light switch they installed
                                            hanging,” Cherney said.
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