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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Experts: WI Youth Apprenticeship Could Serve as National Model

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Monday, July 31, 2023   

Wisconsin has the largest and longest-running youth apprenticeship program in the country. And social policy researchers are out with new findings that detail its strengths in creating pathways for better economic outcomes.

This summer, the Urban Institute issued a policy brief about the history and reach of the state's apprenticeship program for high school-age students.

The authors say Wisconsin has adopted a well-structured, low-cost system with state support that allows for plenty of local control.

Robert Lerman is a fellow with the Institute's Center on Labor, Human Services and Population - and he helped compile the findings. He said the Badger State's approach really gets to the heart of blending academics with "on-the-job" training.

"They have part of the day or part of the week," said Lerman, "they're at their workplace. But the whole point is that the workplace is a learning center for them."

Lerman said that's especially important for high-school students worried about the cost of college.

The Institute says another highlight of Wisconsin's program is that it has statewide curricula and skill standards, meaning an apprentice's credentials can be portable.

Researchers say a weak spot is limitations for youth to move on to registered apprenticeship systems that offer extended training.

Lerman said even though rising college costs might inspire more teens to take up apprenticeships, it's important to remember that some people like to "learn by doing," no matter the circumstances.

He suggested that if more states beef up their programs as Wisconsin has, the nation could benefit in a variety of ways.

"We can improve equity and improve opportunity," said Lerman, "and efficiency, and productivity for the country."

He added that his research has found that in general U.S. apprenticeship programs lag behind many other countries in terms of their scope.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin's program for youth has seen strong demand - including this past school year, with more than 5,700 employers providing apprenticeships to nearly 8,300 students.




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