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Oct. 30, 2006

Gov. Gregoire announces grants to high schools to expand pre-apprenticeship

TUMWATER — Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced that eight Washington high schools received $7,500 each to support efforts to expand and encourage pre‑apprenticeship programs. The money, $60,000 in all, was awarded by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) and the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council.

“These grants are important to many people,” said Gov. Gregoire. “They are important to our high school students who want to pursue careers in the building trades but do not know where to start. They are important to the building trades, which are going to need talented young people to replace tradesmen and women ending their careers. They are important to Washington because skilled workers mean strong families and a strong economy.”

In these “Running Start for the Trades” programs, high schools work closely with local apprenticeship programs to prepare students to enter apprenticeships immediately after graduation. The grants will be used to create opportunities, as well as to encourage and support students to ensure they have the job skills and the academic prerequisites to succeed in an apprenticeship program.

The grants were part of Gov. Gregoire’s 2006 legislative proposal to expand and strengthen apprenticeship opportunities for high school students.

Schools receiving the grants are:

    • Clark County Skills Center, Vancouver
    • Seattle Public Schools, Seattle
    • East Valley High School, Spokane
    • Raymond High School, Raymond
    • South Bend High School, South Bend
    • Toppenish High School, Toppenish
    • West Valley High School, Spokane
    • Whatcom Tech Prep Consortium, Bellingham

Apprenticeship is a formalized program of on-the-job training that prepares apprentices to become a journey-level professional in a specific field. Apprentices earn while they learn, and their pay scale goes up as they gain experience. The average annual salary for an apprenticeship graduate is $52,000.

Statewide, there are 250 different apprenticeship careers and 10,500 registered apprentices. Typically, students must successfully complete pre-apprenticeship coursework, including math and science, to be accepted into an apprenticeship program.

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For media information: Elaine Fischer, L&I, 360-902-5413 or nele235@LNI.wa.gov, or visit the L&I News and Media Center at www.lni.wa.gov/News.

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