PROJECTHow to Build and Sustain Successful High School Programs

How to Build and Sustain Successful High School Programs

Midwest Youth Apprenticeship Accelerator

April 21, 2021


Youth apprenticeships offer a meaningful link between high schools and the workforce, with benefits for students, employers, educators, and the economy as a whole. The Urban Institute’s Youth Apprenticeship Intermediary project is helping high schools accelerate and grow youth apprenticeship across the US. This event highlights how high schools can lead the youth apprenticeship movement and deliver Registered Apprenticeship in cooperation with numerous employers.

As we look to the next school year, new high schools have the opportunity to learn from their peers and sponsor programs of their own. Employers, practitioners, school administrators, and state leaders in the Midwest discuss best practices and lessons learned on starting these impactful youth apprenticeship programs in their own states and communities. 

This discussion was targeted toward communities in the Midwest. The lessons and best practices discussed can be applied to virtually any area interested in adopting a High-School Sponsored Apprenticeship model for Apprenticeship Programs.



  • Robert Lerman, Institute Fellow, Urban Institute
  • Linda Fandel, Special Assistant for Education, Office of the Governor, Iowa
  • Dean Guido, Regional Director, Office of Apprenticeship

Program Perspective: Iowa High School Apprenticeships

  • Jerred Pauwels, Vice President, John Deere
  • Tascha Brown, Director, Career and Technical Education, Central Campus Des Moines Public Schools
  • Greer Sisson, Iowa State Director, US-Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship
  • Rayanne Hawkins, Policy Program Manager, Urban Institute (moderator)

Program Perspective: Illinois High School Apprenticeships

  • Lazaro Lopez, Associate Superintendent, High School District 214
  • Mordechai Finkel, Director of Human Resources, Greek American Rehabilitation & Care Centre
  • Robert Voss, Former Cybersecurity Registered Apprentice for District 214, Cybersecurity Supervisor at High School District 214
  • Bhavani Arabandi, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute (moderator)


Support for this event was provided by the US Department of Labor. The views expressed should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders. For more on Urban’s funding policies, go to

Research Areas Children and youth
Tags Job training Youth development Apprenticeships
Policy Centers Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population