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Start A Youth Apprenticeship, Build A Workforce

Growing Your Business Through Work-based Learning

The educational models for the past 40 years have operated with businesses serving as an advisor. In this role, they could only inform learning experiences, with engagement being at the end of the student’s educational journey—hiring based on the level of educational attainment.

Faced with an emerging talent gap, this passive strategy is no longer effective. Industries and businesses need to shift their focus to engaging in the educational system as a solution partner. The time is now to invest in the supply side of this equation—work-based learning (WBL) provides the most effective way to close the gap.

See How Work-based Learning
Helps Komatsu Build Their Workforce.

Let’s Create a Custom Program for Your Business Together

GPSEd will work closely with your business to understand your goals and processes for a successful program. When you contact GPSEd, this is what we can do to help create a custom apprenticeship for your business:

  • An Accelerated process for helping develop high-level technical skills in your potential, future workforce.
  • A Customized solution to address your specific needs with alignment to industry certifications.
  • Program focused on the Outcomes (-based) that matter most to your business.

Connect with GPSEd to Start the Conversation

1 Step 1

How GPSEd has Helped Businesses & Students

Our business partners extend permanent job offers to more than 75 percent of the graduating youth apprentices annually, making YA an excellent pipeline for recruiting and retaining loyal, well-trained talent.


of students are uninterested in skilled trades due to lack of exposure and training.


of students go into a technical career following work-based learning through GPSEd.

5 Reasons Companies Consider Work-based Learning

  1. Build a pipeline of skilled workers
    An opportunity to fill challenging vacancies and maintain institutional knowledge when soon-to-retire workers serve as instructors and mentors to new workers. Training apprentices can help a company accommodate an aging workforce.
  2. Gain workers with customized skills
    Companies have the opportunity to train workers to meet their specific standards, using the exact pieces of equipment, protocols, and procedures that are relevant to your company.
  3. Boost retention
    Decrease worker turnover due to the fostering of greater worker loyalty and productivity. Apprentices are loyal to the companies that invest in them. There is an added sense of loyalty between employers and employees.
  4. Recruitment savings
    Employers can reduce their recruitment costs and also hire better-prepared employees who understand workplace expectations and company culture.
  5. Access a diverse and innovative labor pool
    WBL programs can help cultivate diversity in the talent pipeline by providing the structure, support, and training that people of many different backgrounds need to succeed.


What does a company's involvement look like?

Linked here is the DWD Apprentice Overall process. Keep in mind GPSEd provides, supports and facilitates a number of these services.

Business Partner/Employer Responsibilities include:

  • Participate in mentor training sessions – GPSEd provides training
  • Interview and hire Youth Apprenticeship (YA) student(s)
  • Provide on the job training to YA student(s)
  • Pay YA student(s) – GPSEd provides wage scale which begins at $8.25 and increases beyond as student progress and obtain certification levels
  • GPSEd Daily Assessments of student(s) (web-based app 2-minute process)
  • Participate in regular formal Progress Reviews
  • Ensure 450 hours per year of work-site training/work hours – 900+ over a 2-year apprenticeship
  • Participate in annual GPSEd events – Career Fair, Senior Luncheons, etc.

What is a typical GPSEd student journey?

The student’s journey in our program can vary from 1 year, 1.5 year or 2 year (most are 2 year), so we structure our partner agreements over 2 years.  There are 2 agreements in place Community Impact Agreement* and Pathway Agreement*.

*To see these agreements in more detail click on “What is the financial commitment?” below.

What is the financial commitment?

As noted above, we structure our partnerships through two agreements: Community Impact Agreement and Pathway Agreement.

  1. Community Impact Agreement: is a tax deductible contribution to your local Education Center and operations. This donation goes to the marketing of positions you have with high school students, student recruitment to multiple high schools, development of pathways, and partnership management. This donation is based on company size. Most businesses contribute about $3,500-$6,000 annually.
  2. Pathway Agreement: GPSEd works with partners to identify and map out pathways within their organization classified as Exposure, Experience or Credentialed Pathways.
    1. Exposure Pathway – The first 6 months of the apprenticeship, where the student is in a broad rotation to expose them to as many areas/departments within your organization as possible. There are no fees associated with Exposure Pathways.
    2. Experience or Credentialed Pathways – Seniors who have identified a target area (such as CNC/Welding, Maintenance) or opportunity to further their skills and/or education for a role in your organization.
    3. Pathway fees are only assessed for Experience and Credentialed Pathways if they are filled by an apprentice. The fees for Experience or Credentialed Pathways are $3,500.

What does a typical apprentice schedule look like?

Based on your level of engagement, your business can support a number of apprentices. GPSEd would map your organization and provide a recommendation.

Typically our apprentices work 5 days a week with our juniors working 4-5 hours a day (20-25 hrs./week) and our seniors working 5-6 hours a day (25-30 hrs./week). Within our academic year students have in class activities, GPSEd activities, tests, or outside activities planned where they are not working or have opportunities to work more. GPSEd provides a full academic year calendar and partner calendar as well. Student apprentice work schedules are provided to partners usually 2 weeks in advance.

If provided a good match, apprentices can remain with a business partner for their entire journey in our program or partial (5-6 months at minimum).  Students in our program can work year-round and can work up to 40 hrs. during a period of summer (June 15-August 10) if the partner has need for full-time hours and needs.

Download our WBL Guide
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