Apprenticeship Offers New Opportunities

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is proposing an expansion of apprenticeship programs for students 16 and older. The program is meant to offer hands-on training skills so students can earn high school credits.

This program is designed to help students who do not want to attend a four-year college recognize that they still have options to prepare them for life after high school graduation. The programs would be run and paid for by employers and would also provide employers with more potential future employees. The employers need to work with the Maryland State Department of Education to make sure they meet certain needs, like the amount of hours students can work.

Maryland currently has a limited apprenticeship program that is mainly for students who are 18 years old and would like to pursue a career in construction and building.

Gansler does not know how many students will actually participate in these programs. If students participate, they would be effectively communicating the importance of business, civic and local community leadership.

Many students believe this program is an effective option for high school students. “I feel like this program would allow these students to just focus on their interests and not have to take classes they don’t really need for their intended career,” senior Meir Punzalan said. Allowing students to learn in internships will expand teenager’s education levels.

Several of the programs now are concentrated on construction and the building trade. Gansler would like more programs in engineering, biosciences, information biotechnology, health care and more, in order to expand the number of possibilities students will have to choose from. The programs will also provide students with a certificate of completion which will help them get a job in their chosen field.

Students believe that having these internship programs will open many more opportunities for their careers in the future. “This program will be effective because it allows students to go out into the real world and experience internship programs which will prepare them for their future career,” junior Jodie Pico said.

This apprenticeship program should be appreciated as an alternative to college since not everyone plans on going to college. It is also a way for students to learn how to earn money in high school while discovering aspects that they will be using at their future job.

“I have not heard anything about the program coming to Rockville,” college/career coordinator Janet Harris said. However, this program should be brought to RHS because it will benefit many students.