Kalamazoo high school students will earn money learning skills in new apprenticeship program

KALAMAZOO, MI – A new apprenticeship program at Kalamazoo Public Schools where high school students can learn while also earning money kicks off this week.

Students and their parents are welcome to help celebrate the new program called Career Launch Kalamazoo getting underway at 6 pm Monday, April, 11, Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri said during a board meeting Thursday.

The two-hour event will be held at the West Main Professional Development Center, 1627 W. Main St.

The apprenticeship program is open to high school juniors and seniors beginning with the class of 2022 and 2023, Raichoudhuri said. Students can earn college credit, degrees and certifications while also making money. Wages start at $ 15 per hour, she said.

Students will receive on-the-job paid training in fields such as information technology, healthcare and manufacturing, along with related classroom instruction at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC), the superintendent said.

The kick-off event begins with a catered dinner followed by remarks from keynote speaker Mayor David Anderson. Also presenting Monday night will be representatives from partner employers including City Manager Jim Ritsema and KVCC President Marshall Washington.

The apprenticeship program was created with six employer partners: city of Kalamazoo, Bronson Healthcare Group, The Kalamazoo Promise, KVCC, Flowserve and MANN + HUMMEL.

The district first announced the program in May 2021 after receiving a $ 25,000 grant from Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship. The partnership was created in 2018 as a multi-year, multi-stakeholder initiative that expands economic opportunity by assisting organizations around the country in developing youth apprenticeship programs.

Related: Kalamazoo students will get apprenticeship opportunities with help of $ 25K grant

KPS was one of six recipients nationwide of a $ 1 million grant from the US Department of Labor designed to “show the power of multiple post-secondary options in disrupting the cycles of poverty in our community,” Raichoudhuri said.

“We are very proud of this flagship program,” Raichoudhuri said.

Those interested in attending should RSVP by emailing Tracy Miller at [email protected]

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