KALAMAZOO, MI — A new apprenticeship program at Kalamazoo Public Schools where high school students can learn while earning money kicks off this week.
Students and their parents are invited to celebrate the launch of the new program called Career Launch Kalamazoo at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 11, Superintendent Rita Raichoudhuri said at a board meeting Thursday.
The two-hour event will take place at the West Main Professional Development Center, 1627 W. Main St.
The apprenticeship program is open to high school juniors and seniors starting in the class of 2022 and 2023, Raichoudhuri said. Students can earn college credits, degrees, and certifications while earning money. Wages start at $15 an hour, she said.
Students will receive paid on-the-job training in areas including information technology, health care and manufacturing, as well as classroom instruction at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC), the superintendent said. .
The launch event begins with a catered dinner followed by an address by keynote speaker, Mayor David Anderson. Representatives from partner employers, including City Manager Jim Ritsema and KVCC President Marshall Washington, will also present Monday evening.
The apprenticeship program was created with six employer partners: the City of Kalamazoo, Bronson Healthcare Group, The Kalamazoo Promise, KVCC, Flowserve and MANN+HUMMEL.
The district first announced the program in May 2021 after receiving a $25,000 grant from Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship. The partnership was established in 2018 as a multi-year, multi-stakeholder initiative that expands economic opportunity by helping organizations across the country develop apprenticeship programs for young people.
Related: Kalamazoo students will get learning opportunities thanks to $25,000 grant
KPS was one of six nationwide recipients of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor designed to “show the power of multiple post-secondary options to disrupt cycles of poverty in our community,” Raichoudhuri said.
“We are very proud of this landmark program,” Raichoudhuri said.
Those interested in participating should RSVP by emailing Tracy Miller at [email protected]
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