The Antigo High School Youth Apprenticeship (YA) and Co-op students conducted their annual Employers’ Appreciation Luncheon earlier this month at North Star Lanes to show appreciation to their employers for guiding them through their training and providing inspiration as they continue to learn skills.

The students participate in a work-release program to obtain job skills used to benefit them in their future careers. Gaining job experience also secures recognition for the students as they compete for scholarships.

At the banquet, the students presented their mentors with recognition plaques displaying the quote, “It does not matter who is in your team, what matters is who they will become because of you.”

The CTE (career and technical education) teachers were recognized for their involvement in providing the skills necessary to often perform the job tasks required to meet the demands of the positions.

The CTE department consists of the following teachers: Ray Churchill, transportation; Shalynn Domke, agriculture; Joanie Fisher, marketing; Tracie Frisch, family and consumer sciences; Dave Kuhr, architecture, CAD, engineering and media; Amanda Opper, family and consumer sciences; Mike Parizek, manufacturing; and Logan Rudis, graphic design.

Additional honored guests included Julie Sprague, Unified School District of Antigo superintendent; Clint Rogers, Antigo High School principal; Pam Hanke, youth apprenticeship specialist from Northcentral Technical College Wausau campus; Marla Konkol, coordinator of the Carl Perkins grant funds; and Lori Leiterman, USDA accounts payable and accounting assistant.

Both the YA and Co-op programs are formulated as either a one- or two-year experience.

The Youth Apprenticeship program is a statewide program that requires the apprentices to work a minimum of 450 hours annually at their YA worksite and also take related high school or college classes to enhance their worksite experience. At the conclusion of the program, the mentor completes a competency checklist, evaluating the student on the various job tasks. This real-world connection benefits both the student and the worksite.

The Co-op program also helps to pave the way for a successful school-to-work transition. The students acquire job skills and evaluations are implemented that solidify their career readiness. The students are required to work a minimum of 10 hours per week, on average. The program does not adhere to the competency checklist nor the class coordination present within the YA program.

The businesses involved with the YA program this year include Antigo Veterinary Clinic, Aspirus Langlade Hospital, Evergreen Terrace, Lakeside Pharmacy, Matuszewski Family Farms, Meyer Family Dairy LLC and Wild’s Dairy Farm.

The businesses involved with the Co-op program include After the Hunt Taxidermy, Austin’s Summit Lake Garage, bb Jacks, Beckingham Forest Products, Boys and Girls Club, Charlie’s Automotive, Clara R. McKenna Aquatic Center, Cloverleaf Terrace, Corner Stone Financial, Crosstown Enterprises, Farmer’s Home Restaurant, Fleet Farm, Gilbert’s Sentry Foods, Grounded, KET, Kretz Truck Brokerage LLC, Lucky Ash Farms, McAuly Farms, Nelson Builders, Neve’s Floors to Go, Furniture & Mattress Gallery, Peace Lutheran (Ministries and Child Care), Pick ’n Save, Sartori Cheese, Schroeder’s Gifts, Southside Tire, Summit Lake Gas N Go, The Brown Mug, The Chiropractic Wellness Center, The Green Hen (Natural Living), USDA—administrative office; USDA—elementary schools, USDA—middle school office, Walgreens, Walmart, Waukesha Bearings Corporation, and Z-Bess Construction.

Businesses interested in working with either the YA program or the Co-op Program are encouraged to contact Joanie Fisher, YA and Co-op coordinator, at the Antigo High School.

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