Barry Butters Invited to Speak at the 2015 Youth Apprenticeship Forum on April 23 in Wisconsin Dells

Michael Reader

On Thursday, April 23, 2015, Scott Fromader, Youth Education Consultant for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the Division of Employment and Training (DET) , the Bureau of Workforce Training (BWT), and the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), led a state-wide “Youth Apprenticeship (YA)” Conference in Wisconsin Dells, to address strategic plans for Wisconsin’s talent development that include youth apprenticeships as a catalyst for the success of this endeavor.

Barry Butters, Director of Education and Training at Precision Plus, was asked to be a panelist during the conference.

Barry Butters speaks about Precision Plus’s apprenticeship and internship programs and general school outreach programs.

Wisconsin’s workforce, education and economic development partners have intentionally aligned strategies and resources to address the labor shortage and skills gaps. Collaborative workforce models such as YA and registered apprenticeship can be scaled, expanded and “bridged” to build sustainable local talent pipelines for employers and skilled employment opportunities for students and job seekers. Demand driven models like Wiscosin Fast Forward and the Blueprint for Prosperity have funded almost 20,000 training opportunities for students, job seekers and incumbent workers to gain market-relevant skill sets and employment opportunities. Let’s set a vision for what the YA practitioners in WI can do to leverage the capabilities of collaborative networks and successful workforce models.

The day-long conference covered a myriad of topics which, in one way or another, affect the development of successful youth apprenticeship programs in the State of Wisconsin.

Jim Chiolino, DWD Equal Rights Division, Labor Standards Bureau Director, Joy M. Gander, CPCU, ARM, Principal, Gander Consulting Group, LLC, and Joseph Moreth, DWD, Workers Compensation Division, Bureau of Insurance Programs Director, addressed child labor law, insurance and workers’ compensation impacts and implications. The session’s moderator was Amy Phillips.

Ann Westrich, Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Education Director, Career Prep/YA/K-12/Articulation, spoke about existing and upcoming articulation agreements with Wisconsin’s technical colleges, or the ability to earn transferable college credits while completing a youth apprenticeship certification. Cathy Crary was the moderator.

Karen Morgan, DWD-DET, Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards (BAS) Director and Jamie Bernthal, DWD YA Program Coordinator, talked about strategies for placing youth in registered apprenticeship programs.

Robin Kroyer-Kubicek, Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Career Pathways Education Consultant, addressed youth apprenticeships, work-based learning, certification and academic and career planning as discussed with DPI.

Scott Fromader, DWD-DET, BWT, WIA Youth Education Consultant, explained both the Workforce Investment Act and the Workforce Innovate and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Programs in detail. The moderator for this session was Phil Koenig.

Phil Koenig served again as moderator for the session on how social media impacts the world of workforce programs. The session’s panelists were Andre Small, DWD-DET, BJS, Business Service Section Chief, Meghan Spranger, DWD Office of the Secretary, Communications Specialist Advisor, and George (Dom) Tervalon, DWD-DET, BJS, Employer Consultant Specialist.

Shelly Harkins, DWD-DET, Office of Skills Development Program Outreach, Barry R. Butters, Director of Education & Training, Precision Plus, Elkhorn, WI, Tania Kilpatrick, Career and Technical Education Coordinator and YA Regional Coordinator, CESA 6, Jill Preissner, YA Regional Coordinator Sheboygan Area YA Consortium, Cyndy Sandberg, YA Alternate Regional Coordinator, SC WDB YA Consortium & YA Coordinator, Jefferson County YA Consortium, Kristine Niehus, Director, Human Resources at CL&D Graphics, and Paul Liethen, School District of West Salem, Technology Education were panelists for the program entitled “Wisconsin Fast Forward: A Blueprint for Prosperity Through Education and Business Partnership Collaborations.” The core message centered on collaborative efforts between school districts, technical collages and businesses to “provide high school pupils with industry-recognized certifications in high-demand fields,” and how DWD’s programs bring it all together. The moderators were Cathy Crary and Lori Uttech-Hanson.

Lisa Perkofski, DWD-DET, BAS, Apprenticeship Training Representatives, Area #8: Outagamie, Waupaca, Waushara, and Winnebago counties and Ben Stahlecker, DWD-DET, BAS, Apprenticeship Training Representative, Area #4: Adams, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Portage, Price, Taylor, Vilas, and Wood counties, led the workshop entitled “Registered Apprenticeship: A Strategic Advantage for Today’s Workforce,” or anticipating industry needs by having apprenticeships programs available for students in advance. Jamie Bernthal was the moderator.

Meredith Dressel, DWD-DVR, Bureau of Consumer Services, Deputy Director, provided an overview of DVR services, including “initiatives to promote employment opportunities for youth with disabilities.” The session was entitled “Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) Transition Youth Initiative and promoting Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) Grant. The moderator was Scott Fromader.

Cathy Crary, DWD-DET, BWT, Youth and At-Risk Programs Section Chief, Tom Martin, Southwest WI YA Regional Coordinator, Cyndy Sandberg, South Central WI YA Alternate Regional Coordinator and Jefferson County YA Coordinator, discussed YA program budget, legislative, policy and administration updates.

Finally, facilitators Jamie Bernthal and Amy Phillips, DWD YA Program coordinators, led a discussion giving YA consortiums an opportunity to highlight best practices and exchange ideas.

Participants left with valuable takeaways to implement.

Click here for a PDF of the day’s agenda with discussion details.

In The News: Precision Plus Open House Featured on Lake Geneva Regional News

Michael Reader

On April 29, 2014, Precision Plus, inc. of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, welcomed guests to an open house to showcase its new training classroom featuring CAD and CAM software from PartMaker and Autodesk.  The event was featured in an article by Chris Schultz on the Lake Geneva Regional News of May 8, 2014. The article describes Precision Plus’ journey from idea to reality, and future plans.

For a PDF copy of this article, please click here!