Youth Apprenticeship Week Highlights: UpSkill apprentices

In honor of the first-ever Youth Apprenticeship Week (May 5-11), Regional Opportunity Initiatives is recognizing five students in our UpSkill Work and Learn modern youth apprenticeship program.

UpSkill is a two- to three-year work and learn experience that provides selected high school students with a paid job, career credentials, and college courses. Students work for a variety of employers in the Indiana Uplands region and receive high school credit for their work time. They work either before, during, or after the school day.

From working in customer service to engineering for a military defense contractor, young Uplanders are working impressive apprenticeships and gaining valuable experience all while solidifying their career pathways before they leave high school. 

ROI coordinates the program with employers, schools, and college partners while also supporting students through the application process, interviews, placement, training, and ongoing guidance. In 2021 and 2023, ROI received the Indiana Youth Apprenticeship Accelerator award from Ascend Indiana to help fund the initial UpSkill initiative. In May 2023, UpSkill was awarded READI funds to expand to every county in the Indiana Uplands region over the next three years.

UpSkill launched two years ago and the number of student apprentices and employers continues to grow. Currently, 45 apprentices are working throughout the Indiana Uplands for 21 employers. The third cohort of UpSkill apprentices and employers will be announced soon.

First up is Bedford North Lawrence High School student Maddison Simmerman and her employer PRD Inc. Click here to read her story.

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Want to read more about our other UpSkill apprentices and their employers? Click the links below!

Bryden Dausch and VET Environmental Engineering

Brayden Hudson and SAIC

Amorenio Martinez and Indiana Safety and Supply

Owen Snyder and German American Bank