In an effort to get more students into skilled trades, American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson has created a youth apprenticeship program at its powertrain operations facility in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
The youth apprenticeship program will have six openings in electrical maintenance, tool-and-die making and machine repair/maintenance. During the apprenticeship, students will shadow some of the 1,000 employees at that plant and learn about the different careers at Harley-Davidson. This includes access to the shop floor and observing anything from an assembly line fix to a staff meeting. The company added that it will use the program to help transition students to an adult apprenticeship at the plant.
According to Harley-Davidson, if the new program goes well in the Milwaukee area, it is possible the program will expand to its plants in Tomahawk, and York, Pennsylvania.
Currently, 17 students from Milwaukee-based Bradley Tech High School are competing for six apprenticeship spots. Harley-Davidson has had a relationship with Bradley Tech for a number of years and has donated shop equipment to the school.
The sudents applying for the apprenticeship will be interviewed and will present to Harley-Davidson leadership why they want to be a part of the first youth apprenticeship program at the company. At the end of May, Harley-Davidson will select two students for each trade discipline. The youth apprenticeships will begin this fall.
The new youth apprenticeship program is part of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s youth apprenticeship system.