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KCS Celebrates Youth Apprenticeship Week



Knox County Schools is committed to Career Empowerment and Preparation for all students, whether they’re planning to enroll in college or trade school, enlist in service to their country, or find high-wage employment after graduation.

One of the best ways for graduates to receive on-the-job training combined with technical education to broaden their knowledge base is by becoming a registered apprentice. On Wednesday, Knox County Schools celebrated the first-ever Youth Apprenticeship Week to highlight this pathway and the benefits it provides.

Registered apprenticeships not only provide structured training in a wide variety of fields, but also offer increased compensation for additional skills and a credentialing process that supports students and employers. During an event at Halls High School, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs read a proclamation to celebrate Youth Apprenticeship Week.

Superintendent Dr. Jon Rysewyk said registered apprenticeships are a key strategy in the district’s 865 Academies initiative, which offers career-themed academies in every high school.

“It’s important for students to have a clear path toward achieving their goals,” said Dr. Rysewyk. “Registered apprenticeships play an essential role in this process, by giving students hands-on training from skilled industry professionals along with job-related education. I’m grateful for the State of Tennessee’s work to promote this pathway, and I’m proud of the CTE educators across our district who help students get connected to it.”

According to the State of Tennessee, Registered Apprenticeship programs are registered and validated by the U.S. Department of Labor. Participants must complete coursework or training as part of a pre-apprenticeship program, and then can apply to enter a Registered Apprenticeship sponsored by an employer.

Knox County Schools partners with apprenticeship programs to align curricula and offer students the opportunity to earn industry credentials while they’re still in high school. This ultimately reduces the time students have to spend in coursework during their first year of apprenticeship programs after graduation.

Through the 865 Academies, approximately 400 KCS sophomores a year engage in CTE programming that could lead them to credentials in construction trades, such as electrical, HVAC, plumbing, carpentry, and residential and commercial construction.

Youth Apprenticeship Week is a national celebration from May 5-11 that highlights the benefits and value of Registered Apprenticeship programs for young people aged 16-24. For more information, visit the Apprenticeship TN website.