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Talbot and Queen Anne’s Counties Join Growing Apprenticeship Maryland Program

Eastern Shore High School Students Provided STEM Apprenticeship Opportunities

BALTIMORE (Feb. 21, 2019) – Today, Governor Larry Hogan, with Acting Maryland Labor Secretary James E. Rzepkowski and Maryland State Department of Education Assistant State Superintendent Dr. Lynne Gilli, announced that Talbot and Queen Anne’s counties will join the Apprenticeship Maryland Program (AMP), the state’s apprenticeship program for high school juniors and seniors. Talbot’s and Queen Anne’s participation brings the total to six counties in the program, which was launched statewide last year following its successful two-year pilot in Frederick and Washington counties.

“Youth apprenticeships build a pipeline of talented, highly skilled workers that help Maryland businesses grow,” said Governor Hogan. “The expansion of this program gives more of Maryland’s high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to explore career options and develop critical work skills, while connecting our job creators to the talent of the future.”

The Apprenticeship Maryland Program was founded in 2015 as a pilot in Frederick and Washington counties, and is a partnership between the Maryland Department of Labor, the Maryland State Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, county public school systems, community educational and business partners, and area employers.

"Talbot County Public Schools is excited to work collaboratively with our community partners in providing these apprenticeship opportunities for our students in local businesses. We are dedicated to the success of this gateway to careers afforded to our students,” said Talbot County Public Schools Superintendent Kelly L. Griffith.

The program gives high school juniors and seniors a head start on their future career by developing valuable career skills and a professional network. With apprenticeable occupations in manufacturing, science, technology, engineering, and math, students gain valuable work experience through a combination of on-the-job training and related classroom instruction.

“We are excited to offer new opportunities for our students to acquire in-demand skills through paid, on-the-job training experiences,” said Queen Anne’s County Public Schools Superintendent Andrea Kane. “Many families have asked for more workplace learning opportunities and our business community needs our students’ talents. When young people graduate prepared to go to work, college, or both after high school, they also can avoid thousands of dollars in student loan debt.”

Youth apprenticeship program students work a minimum of 450 hours with a certified employer, while receiving related educational training through their high school. Participating students typically work during the summer after their junior year and during their senior year with a state-approved employer. They work with a mentor to learn valuable skills and earn industry credentials and high school credit.

“The Apprenticeship Maryland Program gives students the opportunity to explore a variety of career options across an array of industry sectors, all while building confidence, career skills, and a professional network,” said Acting Maryland Labor Secretary James Rzepkowski. “It also gives participating businesses an active role in building a productive, motivated workforce that specifically meets their present and future workforce needs.”

Youth apprenticeship is open to all industries, with a priority on high-growth career tracks such as science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), and manufacturing. Since its launch, AMP has grown by 245 percent in the number of participating youth apprentices, and 328 percent growth in the number of participating businesses.

The county school systems coordinate student placements with local businesses. Talbot County has established a goal of placing up to five students during the first year of the program and then expanding the opportunities each year. Queen Anne’s County will place six students in the first year of the program.

“I am pleased that Talbot and Queen Anne’s counties are offering the Apprenticeship Maryland Program as a new Career and Technology Education option open to students ages 16 to 18,” said Assistant State Superintendent Dr. Lynne Gilli. “This step is a reflection of the value of apprenticeships in preparing today’s youth for the careers of tomorrow.”

High school juniors and seniors interested in becoming a youth apprentice may contact:

Talbot County
Anna Howie

Queen Anne’s County
Adam Tolley
410-758-2403 x252

Businesses interested in hiring a youth apprentice may contact Jeffrey Smith, Maryland Department of Labor program manager, at 410-767-0227.

To learn more about the Apprenticeship Maryland Program, visit

About the Maryland Department of Labor
The Maryland Department of Labor is committed to safeguarding and protecting Marylanders. We're proud to support the economic stability of the state by providing businesses, the workforce, and the consuming public with high-quality, customer-focused regulatory, employment, and training services. For updates and information, follow the Maryland Department of Labor on Twitter (@MD_Labor), Facebook and visit our website.

Theresa Blaner
Director, Communications and Media Relations

About the Maryland State Department of Education
The Maryland State Department of Education is dedicated to supporting a world-class educational system that prepares all students for college and career success in the 21st century. With excellent stewardship from our divisions, we oversee state and federal programs that support the needs of a diverse population–students, teachers, principals, and other educators–throughout Maryland. For updates and information, follow MSDE on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and visit our website.

State Department of Education
William Reinhard

About Talbot County Public Schools
Talbot County Public Schools is a highly driven team of educators, leaders, managers, and administrators wholly dedicated to serving the nine schools and the children and families of Talbot County. We serve a diverse population of more than 4,700 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12. The staff is committed to providing the instruction, skills, and guidance to advance our students to college or prepare them to graduate to a career. We leverage innovation, compassion, and inspiration to empower students to realize their full intellectual potential. It is through collaboration with our community that we succeed, as parents, businesses, and partnerships are all critical to our success and growth.

Debbie Gardner
410-822-0330 x102

About Queen Anne’s County Public Schools
Queen Anne’s County Public Schools (QACPS) is a high-performing, small rural school system on Maryland’s Eastern Shore with 14 schools and more than 1,000 employees, supporting the success of 7,800 children in pre-kindergarten to grade 12. Its vision, mission, and core values are based upon a commitment to ensure all children receive a rigorous academic program in a safe, respectful, and caring learning environment. QACPS recognizes and values the importance of close partnerships among school staff, parents, community members, and business partners in preparing all students to meet or exceed standards and graduate high school on time, and college-, career-, and civic-ready to be globally competitive.

John White