• Alana Cunningham

Montana Youth Apprenticeship Partnership Awarded Grant to Launch Opportunities

Montana Youth Apprenticeship Partnership Awarded Grant to Launch Opportunities in

Health Care, Information Technology

Montana partnership receives one of nine grants awarded to pilot youth apprenticeships

in Helena and Billings, with plans to scale statewide

Helena, MT, May 29, 2019 - Selected from a highly competitive pool of over 220 applicants from 49 states and Puerto Rico, the Montana Youth Apprenticeship Partnership (MYAP) has been awarded a grant from the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA). The grant will support local employers, educators, community partners, and policy leaders who are working together to build high-quality youth apprenticeship programs that promote inclusive economic development and create new opportunities for young people.

Montana Youth Apprenticeship Partnership is one of nine winners. With the grant, MYAP will develop and pilot youth apprenticeship programs in Helena and Billings, targeting health care and information technology as primary industry sectors. One of the key outcomes of the project is to develop strategies to expand youth apprenticeships to additional Montana communities and additional employment sectors.

“There is a growing number of Montana employers utilizing registered apprenticeship in new occupations to meet their immediate workforce needs,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “We are also committed to reaching high school students with these opportunities for training and career preparation, and the PAYA grant and this coalition of stakeholders will be invaluable as we look to continue our leadership and innovation for Montana’s future workforce.”

“We have intentionally selected information technology and health care for our pilot projects because they are demand occupations, but also because these are occupations that pay living wages in Montana,” said Kristin Tessman, Montana coordinator for American Jobs for America’s Youth, and MYAP project lead.

The grant funding will support MYAP’s strategy development and implementation activities over a 17-month period, beginning in May 2019. In addition to the funds, PAYA will provide MYAP with tailored technical assistance from PAYA’s National Partners, cross-site learning, and opportunities to participate in national research, communications, and storytelling efforts.

MYAP will also now join the newly formed PAYA Network, a learning community designed to link dynamic partnerships working to launch, expand, and improve apprenticeship opportunities for high school-aged youth. To learn more about the PAYA Network members and grant awardees, click here.

About the Montana Youth Apprenticeship Partnership (MYAP): The Montana Youth Apprenticeship Partnership (MYAP) is a partnership of stakeholders collaborating to increase opportunities for Montana’s youth to prepare for in-demand careers through the development and expansion of youth apprenticeship program models. MYAP partners include: American Jobs for America’s Youth (Montana), Helena WINS, the workforce development initiative of the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce; BillingsWorks, the workforce development program powered by Big Sky Economic Development; Reach Higher Montana; Helena Public Schools, Office of the Superintendent; Billings Public Schools, Office of the Superintendent; Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Registered Apprenticeship Program; Montana University System, Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education; Office of the Governor; Helena College, University of Montana; City College, Montana State University Billings; Carroll College; and an extensive list of employers in the health care and information technology sectors.

About the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA):

Created by New America, the Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship (PAYA) is a multi-year, multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to assist innovative organizations around the country in developing robust youth apprenticeship programs that are scaled and replicated to serve students, employers, and communities alike. PAYA is comprised of eight National Partner organizations: Advance CTE, CareerWise Colorado, Charleston Regional Youth Apprenticeship, Education Strategy Group, JFF, the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, and the National Governors Association. PAYA is supported by funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ballmer Group, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Joyce Foundation, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and the Siemens Foundation. Learn more at newamerica.org/paya.

About New America:

New America is dedicated to renewing America by continuing the quest to realize our nation’s highest ideals, honestly confronting the challenges caused by rapid technological and social change, and seizing the opportunities those changes create.



Kelly Cresswell (Helena) Karen Baumgart (Billings)

Co-Chair, Helena WINS Director, BillingsWorks

406-459-9097 406-869-8416

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