Apprenticeship Signing Day recognizes district students entering skilled trades

May 20, 2022

Battle Ground Public Schools celebrated the students who are graduating directly into fulfilling careers in skilled trades this week. Apprenticeship Signing Day at the Lewisville Campus recognized Career & Technical Education (CTE) students from the district who will be joining trade schools and apprenticeship programs after they graduate.

Students on a stageA dozen students were there, along with local employers such as Prairie Electric, JRT, Northeast Electrical, Christenson Electric and more. Other students were also honored but were unable to attend in person. Employers joined the students on stage as they signed apprenticeship agreements with trade schools representing IBEW, CITC, NW Linemen and more. “It is so rewarding to see students launching their career from our schools and businesses,” said Cindy Arnold, the district’s CTE Director.

This was the second Apprenticeship Signing Day. It was first held in 2019, then paused during the pandemic when many students were learning remotely. Arnold said the hope is to continue and grow the tradition.

“This event was really cool,” said Battle Ground High School senior Gracie Kemp, whose dad is an electrician. She signed an apprenticeship agreement with IBEW Local 48. “I’m really excited to get working after graduation.”

Battle Ground Public Schools’ Career and Technical Education programs offer high school students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a long list of job fields including audio/video; computer programming; agriculture; construction; early childhood education; health care; welding; and many more.

High school guidance counselors work with students in the Battle Ground district to help them determine the best path forGracie Kemp their future success. Some may attend college, while others graduate directly into the skilled trades such as construction, engineering, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, pipe fitting and more. Battle Ground Public Schools’ robust CTE offerings help students build skills in these industries and launch into a career that is fulfilling both financially and personally.

Kemp was the only girl at the apprenticeship signing and said that initially made her a little nervous, but she was also excited to break new ground. “I know that being in the electrical field will set me up for success in life,” she said, “and that’s what I find most exciting.”

Many students who go into trades after graduating have been involved in the district’s Work-Based Learning (WBL) program. It offers students the opportunity to earn income working on a part-time basis, gain up to three credits over their junior and senior years, and often go on to full-time employment after graduation.

“We typically have around 200 students in Work Based Learning,” Arnold said. “Our businesses really are partnering with us to teach our students skills they will use for a lifetime.”

“They see what it takes to do the job,” added Andrew Muonio, a lead foreman at Prairie Electric, Inc. “It’s a pretty cool learning experience for the students.”

Visit the district’s CTE website to learn more about the career pathways offered by BGPS.


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