Catalytic Combustion Corporation is excited to be participating with the Bloomer High School Youth Apprentice Program. We recently welcomed two student employees as part of the manufacturing program, Gunnar and Collin (pictured here, Gunnar-L, Collin-R).

Youth Apprentice is an employment and training program administered by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Bloomer High School has participated for years and the program has gained in popularity over the past five years. Darren Swartz, Agriculture and Technology Teacher, coordinates the program in Bloomer.

Students must apply for the program and are matched with local employers by the program director based upon their experience and the category of work the students are interested in. Some programs have prerequisite courses such as Metals, Business, or other general education courses. Students work for hourly pay and for school credit. The requirements for each student to earn his or her certificate and credit includes 450 hours of work at the employer site as well as passing two skills evaluations. The evaluations include soft skills and job skills specific to the position and apprenticeship. Students gain many valuable experiences and learn skills across a broad spectrum. The apprenticeships provide an opportunity for students to try out a career before pursuing advanced education.

Employers benefit in several ways. Not only do they get dedicated and focused part-time employees who can contribute to the business, they also expose young adults to career opportunities in their industry. “This is a great chance for students to explore careers and earn while they learn,” said Vanessa LaMeer, HR Assistant at Catalytic Combustion.

“We are very excited to have Catalytic Combustion Corporation on board as an employer this year,” said Darren Swartz, coordinator of the program. “This is a real win-win for both the employers and the students. Students in the Youth Apprentice Program can apply their experience toward college credit, depending upon their chosen institution and field of study. In addition, many of the locally offered scholarships require prior work experience to apply and these work opportunities can help satisfy that requirement, and even serve as future references as these individuals enter the workforce as adults” he added.