AASA Launches Expanded Pathways, a Digital Toolkit to Promote Youth Apprenticeships



James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)


Initiative designed to help ensure more K-12 students are successfully prepared for the future


Alexandria, Va. – Nov. 12, 2020 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the nation’s premier organization representing public school system leadership, is pleased to release a digital toolkit designed to encourage the creation of school and business partnerships to foster youth apprenticeships as a viable and expansive pathway to success in school, career and life. 


As part of National Apprenticeship Week (#NAW2020), today’s announcement is the culmination of a partnership between AASA and the U.S. Department of Labor to raise awareness of youth apprenticeships as a resource for students, school districts, local businesses and communities.


The AASA Expanded Pathways Youth Apprenticeship Toolkit is the result of five site visits by AASA staff, plus two summits held in Denver, Colo., and Savannah, Ga. Due to the pandemic, a third summit, scheduled to be held in Chicago, was cancelled. The toolkit contains detailed guidance and processes to launch an apprenticeship program, including videos, case studies, and other resources to provide school districts with the tools to start or expand youth apprenticeship programs. The timely resource is enhanced by follow-up interviews and conversations with leaders on youth apprenticeships in the COVID era.
“Apprenticeships are an underutilized educational and workforce strategy with a proven value that has been successfully implemented by school districts around the country,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “A cultural shift is needed for educators, counselors, parents and students to consider successful models of apprenticeships as an invaluable and exciting educational option. We are extremely grateful to the school districts that participated in this initiative.” 


“Youth apprenticeships are a strategy to give students access to a variety of pathways in the workplace,” said Gladys Cruz, superintendent, Questar III (N.Y.) BOCES, and a member of the AASA Executive Committee. “When I think about expanded pathways through the equity lens, I think about expanding the horizons of students and the opportunities they may have in their local communities.” 


The profiled school districts partnered with a variety of high-demand industries in their communities, including advanced manufacturing, information technology, finance, business, health care and education. These districts included: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Charlotte, N.C.); Cherry Creek School District (Englewood, Colo.); Denver Public Schools (Denver, Colo.); Highline Public Schools (Burien, Wash.); and Russell County Public Schools (Russell, Ky.)


The U.S. Department of Labor’s efforts to grow and expand apprenticeships has resulted in more than a half million new apprentices since the beginning of 2017. In addition, more than 15 states currently have apprenticeship programs for youth or are working toward building programs, emphasizing that youth apprenticeships are a growing strategy for educating and preparing tomorrow’s workforce.


To find out more, please click here to access the AASA Expanded Pathways Youth Apprenticeship Toolkit. For additional questions, please contact Stephanie St. John at sstjohn@aasa.org. To join the conversation via Twitter, access #ExpandedPathways and #YouthApprenticeships.


About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.