Celebrating Role of Apprenticeships in Postsecondary Success


NASHVILLE, TN – This week, the Tennessee Department of Education is celebrating the important role apprenticeships play in postsecondary preparation during the 7th Annual National Apprenticeship Week, happening November 15-19.


Across the state, schools and districts will spotlight and promote these opportunities for students through various activities and events. Tennessee Governor Lee has proclaimed November 15-19, 2021 as Apprenticeship Week in Tennessee to emphasize the importance of apprenticeships in post-secondary preparation. The department encourages schools, educators, and districts to share out their work on social media using #NAW2021.


“This week, Tennessee is proud to highlight the many amazing apprenticeship programs that help students explore their individual strengths, earn postsecondary credit or industry credentials, and identify future careers that are interesting and fulfilling to them,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Thanks to strong partnerships across the state, Tennessee students participating in an apprenticeship have the opportunity to boost their readiness for success after high school graduation.”


Celebrated nationwide, National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) gives businesses, communities, government leaders, and educators the opportunity to showcase their apprenticeship programs while providing valuable information and resources to career seekers.


In Tennessee, there are five Registered Apprenticeships available to high school students. Apprenticeship programs are high-quality, industry-driven career pathways that provide students with hands-on work experiences to prepare them to successfully enter the workforce.


Tennessee’s Youth Apprenticeship Program offers high school students the opportunity to participate in a capstone work-based learning (WBL) experience, earn post-secondary credit, and receive a nationally recognized industry credential upon completion. Participating students gain both academic and technical classroom instruction and work experience.


“Youth apprenticeships offer students immediate connection between classroom standards and workplace skills, helping students learn to problem-solve, develop self-confidence, and experience the benefits of teamwork in a growing industry,” said Donna Wortham, CTE Director, Maryville City Schools.


“STEM-focused education is helping make careers in mechatronics more visible and accessible to everyone. Students under the age of 18 can thrive in apprenticeship programs, and SL Tennessee is excited to continue this work in the future,” said Kim Harris, Director of Workforce Training and Placement, Roane State Community College.


NAW highlights how apprenticeship programs provide talent pipelines that help to address current nationwide workforce challenges such as infrastructure, modernized cybersecurity, public health, supply chain demands and disruptions, and clean energy.