A 2-3 year experience that provides a paid job, career credentials, and college courses while still in high school.

UpSkill is a modern youth apprenticeship program that offers students the chance to discover career interests and pathways they cannot learn in the classroom and employers the opportunity to grow their workforce. Serving as the intermediary organization, ROI facilitates this program with high schools, employers, and higher education partners in the Indiana Uplands.

UpSkill provides a 2-3 year opportunity for both the student and the employer. Participating students gain paid employment with on-the-job and related classroom instruction. ROI provides support with student applications, interviews, placement, trainings, and ongoing guidance.

ROI had the opportunity to speak with six UpSkill students about their experiences working and learning in the Indiana Uplands.

How does it work?

Students are identified in their sophomore year in high school and participate in interviews. After being selected by employers, they begin their journey in their junior year with a 10-12 hour a week placement. In their senior year, students build up to 15-20 hours per week, which can lead to full or part-time employment, advanced training, or college coursework in the third year.

Potential Career Pathways


Automation & Robotics

Electrical Engineering

Mechanical Design & Technologies

National Security
& Defense


Engineering Technologies

Acquisition & Logistics



Medical Device

Production Technologies

& IT

Information Technology

Human Resources

Finance & Marketing

How is this different from an internship?

UpSkill is a longer experience for both the student and the employer that provides a multi-year placement and supporting instruction for a specific occupation. Activities at the worksite include on-the-job training and exposure to career possibilities. Additional training includes opportunities that align with industry requirements.

ActivitiesJunior YearSenior YearPost Graduation
At The Worksite10-20 hours
per week
15-20 hours
per week
Full or part
Additional TrainingIndustry recognized
Industry recognized
Advanced training
or college coursework

Which schools are participating?

  • Barr-Reeve High School
  • Bloomington Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship
  • Bloomfield High School
  • Brown County High School
  • Eastern Greene High School
  • Edgewood High School
  • Loogootee High School
  • Mitchell High School
  • North Lawrence Career Center
  • Orleans High School
  • Owen Valley High School
  • Shoals High School
  • Washington High School

The schools assist in recruitment, academic/career pathway alignment, monitoring, and scheduling. Each student also has a mentor that provides support throughout the UpSkill program.

Interested students are encouraged to fill out the UpSkill Interest Form:

Which employers are participating?

  • City of Bloomington Parks & Rec
  • Diamond Stone Technologies
  • FiveStar Technology
  • German American Bank
  • Graber Post Building
  • Indiana Safety & Supply
  • Ivy Tech
  • Mainstream Fiber
  • PRD
  • Regional Opportunity Initiatives
  • Rel-Micro
  • Richland Bean Blossom Schools
  • RTC Communications
  • SAIC
  • Smithville Communications
  • Stone City Products
  • TexaCon & Bedford Limestone Suppliers
  • VET Environmental Engineering

More employers will be signing on as we grow. Interested employers can contact ROI for information on how to participate.

For more information, please contact ROI at (812) 287-8116 or upskill@regionalopportunityinc.org.

Use this form https://forms.gle/uN1uJB7oLDGJtHbM9 or Scan the following QR Code:

Recent UpSkill News

  • ROI celebrates third UpSkill cohort with signing day
    Last week, ROI hosted an orientation and signing day experience for students and employers participating in the third cohort of the UpSkill Work and Learn Youth Apprenticeship program. With the stroke of a pen, 31 new students officially embarked on their journey into the modern youth apprenticeship experience. UpSkill provides selected high school students with…
  • Youth Apprenticeship Week Profile: Brayden Hudson
    This is Brayden Hudson’s second year as an UpSkill apprentice. He works for SAIC, a military defense contractor in Bedford. He said he wanted to apply for an apprenticeship with UpSkill because he wanted to open up more career opportunities for himself. The best part about UpSkill has been the “invaluable experience” Hudson has gained…
  • Youth Apprenticeship Week Profile: Amorenio Martinez
    During his initial year as an apprentice at Indiana Safety and Supply, Amorenio Martinez has already gleaned valuable insights and lessons. “I learned the process of what a company does to run a business, and I am learning the importance of finding a balance in life,” said the Washington High School junior. “It provided me…
  • Youth Apprenticeship Week Profile: Owen Snyder
    Ask Owen Snyder the highlight of his academic career so far and his answer is straightforward: His UpSkill apprenticeship at German American Bank. “Being an UpSkill apprentice has taught me more than I ever could have imagined,” said the Edgewood High School senior. Not only has it taught Snyder valuable lessons he can use for…
  • Youth Apprenticeship Week Profile: Bryden Dausch
    Edgewood High School senior Bryden Dausch applied for an UpSkill apprenticeship because he knew it would help him get a head-start when he began job searching after graduating. “Even if I didn’t get placed somewhere I liked, it would be great for resume building,” he said. Luckily, Dausch loves where he enjoys working for VET…
  • Youth Apprenticeship Week Profile: Maddison Simmerman
    Bedford North Lawrence High School junior Maddison Simmerman finds the greatest joy in her UpSkill apprenticeship from the supportive individuals who champion her success. Simmerman, intrigued by engineering, gets hands-on experience at PRD Inc. in Springville, known for its plastic injection molding service. During her time with PRD, Simmerman has made “several contributions” to their…
  • 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…
  • School counselor helps students prep for post-secondary success
    With plenty of opportunities for young people to attend college, earn certificates, or enter the workforce after receiving a high school diploma, students are considering what their pathway will look like after they graduate.  Not all students will end up at a traditional four-year college, some will choose to pursue a certification or go straight…
  • First microelectronics apprenticeship begins in Indiana Uplands region
    Washington High School senior Xavier Frankill will serve as a Staff Engineer with Reliable MicroSystems.
  • Students, parents, and employers see momentum with UpSkill youth apprenticeship program
    When college freshman Ethan Scott graduates from the Indiana University Luddy School, he will already have five years of work experience in the world of information technology. While in high school, Ethan began working as an IT support technician for Five Star Technology Solutions through ROI’s UpSkill Work and Learn modern youth apprenticeship program that…
  • UpSkill welcomes second cohort with signing day
    ROI conducted a signing day experience for students and employers participating in the second cohort of the UpSkill Work and Learn program.
  • EAGLE CORNER: Career Connected Learning offering apprenticeships to local students
    Career Connected Learning (CCL) in Brown County offers students career-related opportunities such as career exploration, career engagement and career experiences that all require local industry partnerships. Our Brown County Schools students are involved in CCL activities throughout K-12, but there’s a new opportunity that’s unique to our high school students. Brown County High School sophomores…
  • Building bright futures: High schoolers find success with UpSkill 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.
  • UpSkill Work & Learn and Code/IT programs awarded READI funding; will strengthen regional talent pipeline in the Indiana Uplands
    Two talent development programs have been awarded READI funding to prepare high school students and adults for regionally relevant, high-demand careers in the Uplands.
  • UpSkill Work and Learn welcomes students and employers
    Last week, ROI conducted its second signing day and orientation for students and employers participating in our pilot high school work and learn program.
  • UpSkill Work & Learn Signing Day
    The first cohort of the UpSkill Work & Learn program celebrated with a Signing Day!
  • ROI awarded youth apprenticeship funding from Ascend Indiana
    Regional Opportunity Initiatives is excited to be selected for the Indiana Youth Apprenticeship Accelerator award that will serve to accelerate the implementation of ROI’s UpSkill Work and Learn Initiative and the region’s industry cluster strategies.