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Educating youth in our local community on future career pathways is an important matter to not only schools, but to area businesses as well. This holds true for Opportunities, Inc. The agency understands that every student learns differently and in a different manner. Opportunities, Inc’s Youth Apprenticeship (YA) Program shares a valuable partnership with local school districts that integrates school-based and work-based learning to educate students who need an alternative style of education. 

While enrolled in this innovative program, students attend classes on-site in a classroom setting to learn the core curriculum of high school and also gain hands-on experience in a production workforce to learn occupational skills defined by Wisconsin industries. Upon completion, they earn a high school diploma from their home district, as well as a Wisconsin Manufacturing Certificate. 

To enhance students learning capabilities and to offer further guidance, Opportunities, Inc. has partnered with the WorkSmart Middle College Program for the past two years. This local program is geared toward high school juniors who are interested in advancing their education in targeted industry sectors. 

Middle College provides students with three semesters of relevant technical college coursework to prepare them for the demands of industry. The Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin partners with technical colleges to provide the curriculum and training. Students achieve “college status” as they take college classes while they work to complete their high school graduation requirements.

Students in Opportunities, Inc.’s YA Program are encouraged to take part in this program. Tyler Koellen, a YA student, is currently in Middle College and has been doing an outstanding job. Danielle Ralston, Middle College Program Employment Specialist, said that he is one of their shining stars! 

On December 18th, Middle College held their End of the Semester Celebration at the Fort Atkinson Madison Area Technical College. The students were recognized for their success and accomplishments. Ralston showed a PowerPoint presentation that highlighted the semester’s events, field trips, and education. 

pdfClick here to view the PowerPoint

Opportunities, Inc’s partnership with the WorkSmart Middle College Program has been a great experience and will continue for years to come! Engaging area youth is part of the agency’s mission focused initiatives.