Career Launch Kalamazoo (CLK)

KPS Modernized Pre-Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship Program

  • Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS), in partnership with The Kalamazoo Promise, Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC), and the City of Kalamazoo, along with several employers and business/community partners have launched Career Launch Kalamazoo. This is a modernized Youth Apprenticeship Program that provides flexible occupational training programs that cultivate well-educated, highly skilled workers able to meet the demands of a competitive global economy in careers that are in high demand. Youth apprenticeships are open to current juniors and seniors as a progressive career pathway and on-ramp to high quality and good paying jobs. Students have the opportunity to earn while they learn through paid on-the-job training under the direction of an industry mentor. Youth apprentices also take college classes that directly relate to their apprenticeship. Students can earn industry-based certifications, certificates of completion, and college degrees as they climb the career ladder. The demands of the apprenticeship program are significant, but so are the rewards.

    All KPS rising 12th grade students and current seniors who are 16-18 years old and on track for graduation (or can be on track to graduate) are eligible for CLK! All education, training, and uniform costs will be paid. Students can earn while they learn with wages starting at $15 per hour. CLK is open to CTE and non-CTE students.

    Pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships through CLK are available in Technology, Manufacturing, Marketing and Business Services, Teaching, and Skilled and Professional Trades. Students will work several hours a week on a flexible schedule with competitive wages with incremental increases. The training component of the pre-apprenticeship and the apprenticeship will be provided at local companies by partner employers. Metro bus cards and other wraparound supports will be available to students based on need. KPS will be recruiting students to participate in CLK each spring. Applications for CLK can be provided by the student's high school counselor. 


    Earn College Credit and Industry Based Certification

    Students will earn high in-demand and industry-recognized credentials in critical career areas while still in high school. Students can leverage The Kalamazoo Promise by continuing to build skills and credentials through continued education. Training options are available to transfer to a 4-year university depending on the program. The educational component of the pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship will be at KVCC and/or other local educational institutions.

    Student's high school schedule may have to be adjusted to accommodate the college courses they will be taking at KVCC or other educational training institutions. Youth apprentices usually take high school classes in the morning and their KVCC classes in the afternoons or evenings. Your high school counselor will work with you to ensure you meet all of your academic goals and that you are on track to graduate with your high school diploma.


    Fast-Track Your Secondary and Postsecondary Education

    Students entering into an apprenticeship program must make a 1, 2, 3, or 4-year commitment through credential completion.

    Students who are interested in CLK should contact their school counselor to review their Educational Development Plan (EDP), career goals, and to plan their schedule. Student schedules will include dual enrollment courses. Student selection for CLK is made every year in the spring for summer and fall placement with employers. Placement is not guaranteed.

    All students accepted into the CLK program must attend a 2-day Aspiring Apprenticeship Academy session in the summer (and/or when offered) to receive mentoring, life and 21st century skills, and workplace employability training geared towards preparing them for a successful transition into postsecondary education and the workplace. In addition to the engaging learning activities students will participate in during the Academy, students will also have access to career readiness and employability resources to navigate independently as they build essential skills, self-efficacy, and confidence to take ownership of their career and future.

    Students must also participate in mentoring support and check-ins provided by KVCC to remain in the program. KPS will pay dual enrollment costs for student's related technical instruction to KVCC while they are still in high school. When students who are in CLK graduate high school, they can access their Kalamazoo Promise Scholarship to pay for their related technical instruction training, if eligible. Other options can be utilized to pay for student's related technical instruction if they are not eligible for The Kalamazoo Promise.