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State Announces Second Round of Funding for the Innovative Pathways to Success Apprenticeship Program

Pre-Apprenticeship Program Provides Opportunities for Howard County Youth

BALTIMORE (Nov. 29, 2018) – Today, Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz announced funding for the second cohort of the Pathways to Success Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship Program. The only opportunity of its kind in Maryland, the Pathways program prepares motivated youth through classroom instruction and hands-on skills training for employment and registered apprenticeship in one of the fastest growing occupations in construction.

“Youth apprenticeship provides young workers with a head start on a career pathway by building valuable skills and a professional network,” said Secretary Schulz. “Through the Pathways to Success program, Howard County students will gain real-life experience performing meaningful work in a high-demand industry, with an opportunity to continue into a registered apprenticeship program following graduation.”

Pathways to Success is a collaboration between the Department of Labor, Howard County Office of Workforce Development, Howard County Public School System (HCPSS), and the Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake (IEC). Through this pre-apprenticeship program, up to 15 youth from the Career Research and Development (CRD) program at HCPSS and Howard County Office of Workforce Development will be given an opportunity to begin a career in the electrical trade.

“The Pathways pre-apprenticeship program offers a valuable option for our students to prepare for a rewarding, in-demand career while in high school,” said HCPSS Superintendent Michael J. Martirano. “This is another example of our work to leverage community and state partners to provide innovative college and career pathways for our students, and I am deeply grateful to Independent Electrical Contractors and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation for their collaboration and support.”

The Independent Electrical Contractors Chesapeake will conduct a 200-hour electrical trade pre-apprenticeship program for the enrolled students, which will include a combination of hands-on training and classroom instruction. Each student successfully completing the program and meeting minimum criteria will secure employment as registered apprentices, and will continue on to the IEC’s registered apprenticeship program.

“IEC Chesapeake is very excited to again partner with the Maryland Department of Labor, Howard County Public Schools, and Howard County Government to offer this training to students,” said Grant Shmelzer, executive director of IEC Chesapeake. “This will continue to help companies meet the growing demand of electrical workers in the region and expand the youth apprenticeship program initiated by Governor Hogan several years ago.”

Pathway students spend part of their week learning from certified electricians in a classroom environment while gaining valuable industry knowledge, OSHA 10 certification, and direct entry to a registered apprenticeship and employment upon completion of their coursework.

HCPSS high school students interested in learning more are invited to upcoming information sessions for students and their families. The sessions will be held on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at Independent Electrical Contractors at 8751 Freestate Drive, Suite 250, in Laurel. For more information, please contact Stephanie Discepolo in the HCPSS Career and Technology Education Office.

Last year, the Pathways program provided pre-apprenticeships for 12 students from Hammond, Homewood, Long Reach, Marriotts Ridge, and Reservoir high schools. All graduates began working in the field as apprentice electricians and began classes as a part of the registered apprenticeship program.

The new Pathways cohort will begin at IEC on January 7 with classes continuing through May 2019.

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
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