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New High School Apprentice Program Graduates To Be Debt-Free, Job Ready

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — When Stadler Rail announced plans to expand its Salt Lake facility, the Swiss rail company not only planned to provide nearly 1,000 high–paying jobs in the next decade, it also launched a game changer for kids not yet in the workforce.

High school students can take part in a first-of-its-kind apprentice program, as part of a new partnership with Stadler, the Salt Lake City School District, The Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Talent Ready Utah and Salt Lake Community College.

“They can expect to be building trains from day one and grow while they’re part of the program,” said U.S. Stadler CEO Martin Ritter.

The apprentice program allows students to gain on-the-job training, along with personal mentoring from Stadler employees, while they complete their junior and senior years of high school.

By the time they complete the program, they’ll be eligible for a job and, perhaps equally important, they will be debt-free.

“Student loans are through the roof these days, said Yandary Chatwin, executive director of communications and community relations for the Salt Lake School District. “They’ll have the opportunity to have a high-paying trade and have their education paid for.”

If students desire to continue their college education, Stadler will pay their wages and reimburse their tuition.

This seamless transition to college and career is part of a growing focus for school districts all over Utah. Advisers want students to recognize the many career pathways that exist and the need for highly skilled workers in dozens of trades.

“If a student plans it correctly, they can graduate from high school with an associate’s degree, with a job that pays for their college,” said Chatwin.

The Salt Lake City School District is taking applications for the first cohort of students to begin this fall.

So as Utah’s economy continues to attract companies worldwide, Utah’s students will become part of the homegrown talent pool that fuels their success.

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