Youth Apprentice Reaches 500th Hour

YA ProgramGREEN BAY (November 27, 2012) - The state of Wisconsin's first Youth Apprenticeship Program in Wastewater Treatment has reached its 500th hour, and exemplifies business, education, and government collaborating to create a thriving workforce for tomorrow.

Brandon Burton, 16, a junior at Southwest High School, is reaching his 500th hour on the job at the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District (GBMSD), through the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce's Youth Apprenticeship Program, which also includes coursework at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC).

"I'm really honored to be part of this program," said Brandon. "It's cool to combine school with job training to prepare me for the so-called 'real-world' when I graduate."

As part of Brandon's curriculum at the Green Bay Area Public Schools, Brandon takes Environmental Engineering: Waste and Water Technology courses during the week at NWTC, and then works a few hours a week at GBMSD.

"The Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce's Youth Apprenticeship Program is excited to be an instrumental part of the creation of this Wastewater Treatment pilot," said Laurie Radke, President of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. "The program is a great success, which we hope to replicate with other businesses throughout the Green Bay area."

Recently, Brandon was able to troubleshoot a problem while working in the plant at GBMSD, using knowledge he'd just gleaned during coursework at NWTC. He was tasked with doing a routine clean of the "dissolved oxygen analyzer," when the cleaning brush head got stuck in the analyzer piping. "I'd just learned how to create a vacuum," Brandon said. "And I wondered if it would work in this case." It did. That knowledge and Brandon's quick thinking prevented a work order from having to be filled out.

This preparation for post-high school education and real-world job experience in partnership with the community is just the kind of initiative the Green Bay Area Public School District is eager to foster. "Brandon is a prime example of what our students can achieve through hard-work, dedication, great mentoring, and the leadership of our teachers," said Dr. Michelle Langenfeld, Superintendent of Schools and Learning. "We have many more students like Brandon waiting to be placed."

Professor John Katers from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) has served on the advisory committee for the program and has praised the collaboration of the various partners. UWGB offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in environmental sciences, with several alumni from UWGB's environmental programs employed at GBMSD.

About the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce:

Established in 1882, the mission of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is to serve as the focal point of economic and community development. Chamber programs include: Advance, Partners in Education, Leadership Green Bay, Brown County Teen Leadership, Current Young Professionals Network, Good Government Council, and the International Business Development Consortium. For more information, call 920.437.8704 or visit

Contact: Lori Kaye Lodes, 920-593-3423,

About Northeast Wisconsin Technical College:

NWTC ( serves over 43,000 people per year with technical education in over 100 career fields. The College specializes in hands-on training for current and future workers in traditional, new and emerging technologies. This has led to innovative programs in renewable energy, sustainability management, integrated manufacturing systems, entrepreneurship and more. NWTC's Corporate Training and Economic Development department is the #1 contract training provider in Wisconsin, offering specialized education to every community and business.

Contact: Casey Fryda, 498-6288,

About the Green Bay Area Public School District:

Founded in 1856 with the opening of the Sale School, the Green Bay Area Public School District is more than 150 years old. A unified school district of 92 square miles, it covers the City of Green Bay, all of the Village of Allouez, the Village of Bellevue, the Town of Scott, as well as part of the Towns of Ledgeview, Eaton, Green Bay, and Humboldt. More than 21,000 students attend an early education center, 25 elementary schools (4K-5), one K-8 school, one specialty school (K-8), one charter school (8-12), four middle schools (6-8) and four high schools (9-12), making it the fifth largest school district in the state of Wisconsin. For more information, visit the district website at

Contact: Kristin Hartman, 272-7032,

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay:

UWGB offers an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science, which is an interdisciplinary program emphasizing an integrated approach to problem-solving in this field. UWGB also offers a graduate degree in Environmental Science and Policy and has enjoyed a strong relationship with GBMSD.

Contact: John Katers, 465-2278,

About the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District:

The mission of GBMSD is to promote public health and welfare through the collection, treatment, and reclamation of wastewater, while assessing stable, competitive rates. In conjunction with others, the organization will encourage pollution prevention and support programs to help ensure that water contaminated by human activity is returned clean to the environment.

Contact: Tricia Garrison, 438-1064,


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