Progress on Youth Apprenticeships

The Federal City Council has been exploring ways to create stronger pathways from high school to careers. We are grateful so many Trustees have lent their time and expertise to this effort, particularly Richard Bynum (PNC) and Marty Rodgers (Accenture).

Back in April, the FC2 hosted a meeting with Noel Ginsburg, the founder and CEO of CareerWise in Colorado, who introduced “Modern Youth Apprenticeship” as a model that merges high school classroom instruction with paid on-the-job experience. Young people graduate from this three year program with a high school degree, $30-40K in wages, an industry-based credential and a college credit. Companies benefit from investing in long-term talent they need. Switzerland is the most impressive example of this dual system of learning and work—70 percent of Swiss high school students choose apprenticeships, a path which never forecloses higher education.

In late June, Jennie Niles, Senior Fellow at CityBridge Education, is bringing a group of stakeholders to Switzerland to study firsthand its education-to-employment system, thanks to the generous support of the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation. Joining her will be leaders from three local education agencies (DCPS, KIPP DC and Friendship PCS) representing 70 percent of all high school enrollment in DC. Jennie will hold a briefing about the trip for FC2 Trustees on July 22 at 12 pm at FC2 offices (1310 L Street NW Suite 325).

This trip is all in preparation for launching DC’s own new citywide youth apprenticeship program in the fall of 2020. Jennie Niles is looking for employer partners who would like to participate. You can email her directly at

We also wanted to pass along to FC2 Trustees a survey, put together by the Greater Washington Partnership, about what kinds of talent and skills local employers need. It should take no more than ten minutes of your time. Your response will help to develop an Employer Signaling System (ESS) within the region to validate data findings with employer surveys.