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‘Why I Apprentice’ Youth Apprenticeship Video Series

June 9, 2020

To highlight the benefits of these programs, we asked youth apprentices across the country: “Why do you apprentice?”

Too often, high schoolers are expected to make decisions about their future career path without ever having experienced what it’s like to have any job, let alone one in their ideal field.

Simultaneously, businesses worry about the lack of work experience they see in their young employees and candidates. Or, they struggle to appeal to a younger generation, and are concerned about replacing their workers who go on to retire.

Youth apprenticeship helps to solve these challenges. These programs combine paid workplace experience with related technical instruction and are used in a variety of fields such as manufacturing, health care, IT, and more.

To highlight the benefits of these programs, we asked youth apprentices across the country: “Why do you apprentice?”

We received submissions from more than two dozen apprentices who spoke about:

  • The interesting work they are able to get involved in
  • The options apprenticeship has opened up for them
  • Their growth in areas such as communication and teamwork
  • The pay!

Below are our Top 3 cash-prize winners as selected by our panel of judges.

1st Place: Brenden Rohland, 18, Wisconsin - Elite Electrical Contractors
2nd Place: Fernando Vazquez, 19, North Carolina - Guilford Apprenticeship Partners-Machine Specialties, Inc.
3rd Place: Noah Mueller, 18, New York - Optimax Precision Optics Manufacturing (POM)

Students: Reach out to your school counselor or your school’s work-based learning coordinator, and ask them about youth apprenticeship opportunities in your area.

Schools and Employers: If you are interested in starting a youth apprenticeship program, please reach out to JFF’s Kassandra McGhee at

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Developed with the U.S. Department of Labor. Pursuant to the National Apprenticeship Act, the Department of Labor works to expand opportunities related to apprenticeship programs. This project has been funded, either wholly or in part, with Federal funds from the Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration under the contract number/work order DOL-OPS-16-A-0012/1605DC-18-F-00060. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Labor, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement of same by the U.S. Government.