Barren County and Department of Labor Secretary, Derrick Ramsey, announced a new youth apprenticeship program today, which prepares high school students for the workforce.
Barren County Judge Executive, Michael Hale, has been working on this new youth apprenticeship program for awhile, but on Wednesday it became official.
"Well, this is a win, win for Barren County. When the Labor Cabinet first came here and pitched the idea.. they sold me from day one... day one. Did I know a lot about it? No, but I did educate myself about it and then I started going out and talking and trying to get them on board with it." says Judge Michael Hale.
Participants will be able to get hands on training in several fields like office management, culinary arts, and transportation maintenance.
Caroline Billingsley is a senior at Barren County High School. She tells us the office management program has been a life changing experience.
"It's an amazing opportunity, I started this in January and I just expected this to be a co-op position and then Michael came to me and he said I have got a good idea, let's do it. You're going to be my apprentice.We filled out the paperwork and that's what we do now. It's nice to be apart of Barren County government while I am still in high school." says Billingsley.
The apprenticeships will be available to high school juniors and seniors. Each is a two year program requiring 144 classroom hours and 2,000 on the job training hours. Leaving high school, students have the ability to enter the workforce immediately following graduation.
Judge Hale is hoping more businesses will want to offer apprenticeships in the future.