High School Registered Apprenticeship CNA and Welding Programs

Iowa's AEAs Prepare Students for the Workforce

In today's fast-paced and ever-changing world, a traditional classroom education is no longer sufficient to prepare students for the challenges of the workforce. To meet this need, Grant Wood Area Education Agency has changed the learning environment through High School Registered Apprenticeships programs. Students benefit from paid, on-the-job work experience before they graduate high school, and area businesses benefit from filling their labor gaps with these skilled employees.

Learn more in this video:


"The healthcare industry has been fighting against stagnation. Before the apprenticeship, Meth-Wick spent $1 million on a recruiting agency, which was 'not sustainable.' After the high school apprenticeship program was introduced, Meth Wick went from two years of almost no job applicants to 'struggling to find places' for high school students interested in apprenticing." — Amber Jedlicka, Director of operations at Meth-Wick Community Senior Living Amber Jedlicka
"After I finish this I will get an apprenticeship certificate and that looks very very good on a job application. Not a lot of people can say they've worked somewhere 2,000 hours and have the paperwork to prove it." — Christopher Yenter, senior at Williamsburg High School, welder at Kinze Manufacturing Christopher Yenter

Photo from Cedar Rapids Gazette

"Employers are desperate for employees...there are students who are 'lost at ‘C’ — as in the letter grade C — who are 'drifting through school.' Work-based learning could help them find a passion and “ignite their fires.' I’ve met countless kids who say, ‘I found a purpose, I found a direction, I found a cause, I found an interest.— Jeff Weld, Executive director of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Jeff Weld

AEA Work-Based Learning Initiatives in the News

  • Workforce Development Executive Director Beth Townsend and Jeff Weld, Executive Director of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council attend roundtable discussion about AEA workforce initiatives. - Cedar Rapids Gazette
  • Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning connects educators, businesses to benefit students - KCRG TV9 News

  • Virtual Welding Simulators Spark Kids' Interest - Cedar Rapids Gazette
  • Giving context to algebra, geometry means enthusiastic students - Iowa Department of Education
  • Small district takes geometry to the next level - Iowa Department of Education
  • Cedar Rapids school leaders exploring the future of college and career education - Cedar Rapids Gazette
  • Patient care technician signing day ushers the next generation of workers - KCRG TV9 News