CareerWise Youth Apprenticeship Signing Day-August 2nd

CareerWise Elkhart County is a Business-Led, Student-Centered Apprenticeship Program for high school students.

The public is invited to the press event for the Modern Youth Apprentice “Student Signing Day” on Friday, August 2 at 11:15 a.m. at Ivy Tech Community College, 22531 CR 18, Goshen, 46528 in the Community Room.

Along with a brief overview of CareerWise Elkhart County, attendees will hear from students and their employers. Students will sign a three-year commitment that includes high school credit, college credit, industry certifications and paid employment.

“Horizon Education Alliance (HEA) is pleased to support this collaboration between key businesses and all seven public school districts in Elkhart County”, said Brian Wiebe, HEA’s President. Beginning this school year, apprentices will be trained in modern occupations within the defined career pathways of business operations, advanced manufacturing, and information technology.

Employers participating in the apprenticeship program include DJ Construction, MapleTronics Computers, Goshen Health, Adorn Hardwoods, Interior Components, Kem Krest, Robert Weed Corp, Goshen Stamping, MapleNet Wireless, and Horizon Education Alliance. Additional businesses in Elkhart County have posted positions and will be hiring students by September 1.

“HEA has helped cultivate a system that has enabled implementation of youth apprenticeships in our county across all seven school districts starting with high school juniors. The CareerWise model is a global best-practice and a transformative learning opportunity and we are excited to collaborate with all of our partners to impact our youth”, said Jason Harrison, Vice President of Student and Adult Pathways.

“We just had Josh Belmont in for a tour and to meet Wes [Herschberger, MapleTronics CEO] and the rest of the team. We are excited to work with him in the coming years.” – Rich Troyer, MapleTronics Computers

“When I was in high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I only knew it would be in business. I chose HR, having no idea what that meant. I didn’t enter an HR role until 20 years later. For me, I lucked out. How much better it would have been to have had a program like this. Now we do, thanks to all the work that has been done in our region to link industry and education.” – Cindy Grider, Robert Weed Corporation

The Student Signing Day event concludes the second day of the apprentices’ workplace boot camp— CareerWise’s training that prepares students for a professional workplace. The boot camp covers everything from executive-function skills like organization and task prioritization to the soft skills of working in teams, managing conflict and following employer dress codes.

“HEA is grateful to the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, whose support has been critical for our ability to launch this student apprenticeship initiative”, said Wiebe. “Beginning with our research trip to Germany and Switzerland in 2018, which involved county, regional and state leaders, we immediately understood the win-win nature of apprenticeships for both businesses and for high school students.”

CareerWise Elkhart County is based on the CareerWise Colorado model, which launched in 2016, and was based on best practices learned from their state’s trip to Switzerland in 2015. “We’re very pleased that along with New York City, Elkhart County is one of two spots in the nation that is being given the opportunity to launch CareerWise in the first phase of a national buildout”, said Harrison.

Recruitment of businesses interested in hiring youth apprentices is ongoing, and student recruitment for the 2020 cohort will begin this winter. If you are interested in becoming involved with CareerWise Elkhart County, please contact Breanna Allen, HEA Pathways Director, at For more information about how Elkhart County is designing a scalable, countywide modern youth apprenticeship system for students and industry, visit CareerWise Elkhart County.

About Horizon Education Alliance
HEA is a non-profit organization created by Elkhart County education and business leaders. By engaging individuals from multiple sectors throughout the community, HEA supports the educational success of all residents. In doing so, HEA believes Elkhart County can be a world-class community. HEA engages a model of “innovation through collaboration” by creating and sustaining strong partnerships, identifying and assisting in the implementation of evidence-based practices, and monitoring and evaluating progress toward community-level goals.