NEWYA helps students reach career goals efficiently
By Mickey Schommer
BROWN COUNTY – On Monday, Feb. 5, the Northeast Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship (NEWYA) program is hosting an informational meeting for sophomore and middle school students who are looking to do work experience at NWTC.
NEWYA is a state-certified high school work experience program that strives to help students reach their career goals as efficiently as possible.
In many cases, that includes some level of post-secondary education.
“We’ve all heard of the stories of ‘student goes to college with little understanding of what the career field looks like only to realize that’s not what they’re interested in,’” said NEWYA Coordinator David Gordon. “By participating in our process, these students will have done a job shadow met with local employers, and hopefully gained some work experience before they even have to make a decision about a secondary institution.”
Gordon acknowledges that some students who don’t do high school work experience graduate with a post-secondary degree that doesn’t perfectly align with their career goals.
“We try to help students become great consumers of post-secondary education. So that whatever program they’re enrolling in is aligned to their career goals,” explained Gordon.
The program operates on “three fundamental elements” of youth apprenticeship: mentorship, in which a school-based mentor commits to helping students develop technological skills and improve employability; related coursework, which ties together what a student is learning at school with directly what they are learning at work; and work hours.
Students are required to meet 450 hours of work experience to complete the program.
At every school, there is an on-campus coach available for students to reach out to regarding job placements, career intentions and exploration, job shadows, as well as mock interviews.
The students work with local businesses to complete their work experience, which benefits the community in several ways as well.
Not only do students benefit from the program’s opportunity for career exploration, but local businesses can fill hiring gaps and build relationships with the students, which often leads to high job retention.
The program is looking to make today’s students into tomorrow’s innovative leaders.
Corey Wollin, a school-based Youth Apprenticeship coach for both De Pere high schools, said that she’s witnessed a lot of innovation from her students.
Her students are now working as nursing assistants, pharmacy technicians, accounting apprentices, and she even coaches a student who was hired at a local water treatment plant for lab work.
“Those are just some things and you think, ‘Wow! High school students are doing these
[jobs],’” she said.
The NEWYA program informational meeting will take place on Monday, Feb. 5, at 5:45 p.m. at
Parents are encouraged to attend with their students.
To register for the event, visit