Teachers, business leaders pose with Apprenticeship Program Award of Distinction

Fort Zumwalt School District’s unique United States Department of Labor Certified Youth Apprenticeship Program has been named a Program of Distinction by IWSI America. The award, presented to Dr. Patrick Brown and Andy McHaffie, recognizes the program “for fidelity to the modern registered apprenticeship model and excelling in high-quality, industry-relevant instruction, on-the-job training, apprentice mentoring and employer partnership.” It was awarded at an event presenting the program to more than 50 business representatives, as well as elected officials, state and local Chamber of Commerce leaders and representatives from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

McHaffie, a teacher at East High and curriculum coordinator for Industrial Technology and Engineering, and Brown, FZSD Executive Director of STEAM and CTE, launched the program in 2019 with partner Merric Millwork and Seating. It has grown steadily over the past four years, despite the hurdles created by the pandemic. 

FZ students who have completed two courses in the district’s Industrial Tech and Engineering department are eligible to apply. Once the application is complete and they have secured teacher recommendations, students are able to apply for apprenticeships with local manufacturing partners who will interview the candidates. Current partners include Merric Millwork and Seating, Quest Specialty Products, National Cart Co., Patterson Mold and Tool, Fixture Concepts, Seyer Industries and Avmats. 

The partnership provides local manufacturers with highly skilled workers whose school attendance is a proven track record of commitment to the workplace. It provides students with paid, on-the-job training, the chance to earn high school credit while learning and earning on the job, 45 hours of college credit toward a Skilled Trades A.A.S., through St. Charles Community College and a nationally recognized USDOL certificate.

Learn more at ZumwaltApprenticeships.com

Photo included, credit Fort Zumwalt School District

Photo included, credit Fort Zumwalt School District

Left to right: 

Dave Sweda, Seyer Industries; Dan Claypool, CEO Merric, Dan Fitter, CEO Quest, Rob Unnerstall, National Cart, Jeanna Caldwell US Department of Labor, Jennifer Waters, FZSD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Patrick Brown, FZSD Executive Director of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math and Career Technical Education, Andy McHaffie, FZ Curriculum Coordinator of Industrial Technology and Engineering, Cynthia Walker, IWSI America Senior Consultant and Perry Gorrell, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.