Overview: Over the course of the first three days of National Apprenticeship Week 2023, the PACE team scheduled, facilitated and co-hosted 4 school presentations in northern New Hampshire with the Regional Hub Coordinator and Program Developer from ApprenticeshipNH. These presentations were supplemented on Monday afternoon and evening with 2 virtual info. sessions conducted by the whole ApprenticeshipNH team and supported by PACE.
- Lisbon High School – 13 students
- Gorham High School – 7 students
- Colebrook Academy – 12 students
- Pittsburg School – 43 students
Scope: 75 students in northern NH schools attended the 4 presentations ranging from grades 7 through 12 as well as 12 educators and school staff members. 63% of student attendees are current high school juniors and seniors. Presentations were scaled and adapted to the environments and technological abilities of the individual schools.
Monday, Nov. 13th – Lisbon High School
Hosts: Jess Ross, Jen Gilbert, Chris Lalmond
School Staff: Casey Dunn
During this first presentation, we had the opportunity to speak to the Lisbon High School senior seminar class and teachers. The counselor pulled in a few juniors as well that he thought may be interested in apprenticeship pathways. We began with an introduction (Jess) and then Chris presented a slideshow on ApprenticeshipNH, what they do, what the grant is, and which apprenticeships are available. It was a conversational presentation with questions throughout, facilitated by Jen and Jess. The students were forthcoming with their post-secondary plans and of the 12, half had college pathways in mind or lined up, another quarter were looking at career pathways, with one in particular leaning into apprenticeship and the final quarter were undecided or had no plans. The students trended toward health care, CDL, and criminal justice occupations in this group. We spoke to them individually afterward and to the teachers. Jess will be headed back to Lisbon next week to sit with the undecided seniors individually and do some career assessment and individual pathway work.
Tuesday, Nov. 14th – Gorham High School
Hosts: Jen Gilbert, Chris Lalmond
School Staff: Chrissy Grant
This presentation, led by ApprenticeshipNH (Chris) and Jen spoke to 7 GMHS seniors in the school library. The students demonstrated interest in occupations including land surveyor, electrician, automotive, translator including ASL, plumbing and welding. Counselor, Chrissy Grant, was welcoming and sat in on the latter half of the presentation. Students asked questions about being an apprentice after going to college (yes!). They expressed interest in understanding if they were able to further their college education after the initial paid classes are done. (Chris encouraged them to discuss options with their employer as they may be willing to support this, otherwise, costs beyond the $2000 would not be covered). Financial aid discussions were had here as well. The discussion also included how Chris can help connect students with other AppNH coordinators if students want to venture to the southern region of NH to work (electrician and plumbing) and furthered student understanding about what is available to them statewide.
Wednesday, Nov. 15th – Colebrook Academy
Hosts: Jess Ross, John Knorr
School Staff: Tia Cloutier
This presentation was set up in largely the same way as the first, with the senior seminar class in the library. One junior joined us as well who was interested in looking at apprenticeships. John began with his ApprenticeshipNH presentation and led into PACE. Jess facilitated questions and helped to engage the students and discuss their future plans. Most of the seniors had an idea of industries and professions but most were struggling with the best way to get to where they wanted to go, because of financial, geographical, or other barriers. The teachers confirmed this, saying that students were largely set on occupations but didn’t fully understand the options available to them. Both John and Jess reiterated the ability of ApprenticeshipNH and PACE to aid in this and help students embark on these pathways.
Wednesday, Nov. 15th – Pittsburg School
Hosts: Jess Ross, John Knorr
School Staff: Dawn Pettit
This final presentation was our most well-attended with 43 students, ages 7th grade through 12th grade. It took place in the gymnasium to accommodate the number of students, with no technology capability. We modified the presentation to run assembly-style, with more initial engagement and Q&A. Pittsburg has only two seniors but a much larger sophomore and junior class and the staff really wanted to include the middle schoolers in order to give them a sense of what apprenticeships are at an earlier age. The students were engaged and many were willing to ask questions about specific industries and what the differences were between apprenticeships and college paths. The primary barrier for many of them lay in not understanding what was available to them state-wide in regard to both. There was also some conversation about apprenticeship options for the adult population and some students interested in the military who asked if they could return home after their service and still be eligible for apprenticeship (yes!).
Wrap-Up/Outcomes: The four presentations all went smoothly, despite the varying environments and tech. capabilities. The result is that 75 students and at least 12 educational staff members understand apprenticeship options more fully and between 5-10 students are either applying for or following up with PACE and ApprenticeshipNH for additional information. The virtual information sessions allowed parents and caregivers to follow up and understand the programs as well. The schools were happy and grateful for the information in the presentations as well as the knowledge of additional PACE programs available to them. ApprenticeshipNH was wonderful to collaborate with and stated numerous times how happy they were that PACE was able to set up and co-host the presentations. In particular, they mentioned how much it increased student engagement to have us there to aid in facilitating each of them. It also served as a way to get a better sense of the industries and occupations that are trending with students and to identify a handful of students in urgent need of pathway assistance. The goal is to continue these presentations next National Apprenticeship Week and increase the number of presentations and students reached. Overall, it was a successful first series of programs for National Apprenticeship Week which has the capacity to grow in coming years.