TCPS announces first student apprenticeship

The Talbot County Board of Education recognized St. Michaels Middle High School senior Samantha Washburn as the Eastern Shore’s first participant in the Apprenticeship Maryland Program. From left are Samantha’s mother Jennifer Heimert; Samantha’s father Tim Washburn; Patty Shreves, Apprenticeship Navigator; Samantha Washburn; Mande Gretzinger of Fisherman’s Inn; Michael Garman, TCPS Board of Education president; Anna Howie, TCPS Career and Technology Education Supervisor; and Dr. Kelly Griffith, TCPS superintendent.

EASTON — At its June meeting, the Talbot County Board of Education recognized the Eastern Shore’s first student participant in the Apprenticeship Maryland Program.

Samantha Washburn, a rising senior at St. Michaels Middle High School, is a junior pastry chef apprentice at Fisherman’s Inn in Grasonville. She also will complete the Culinary Arts Career and Technology Education pathway through TCPS.

Mande Gretzinger from Fisherman’s Inn also attended the Board Meeting, where Samantha signed her official apprenticeship agreement.

The Apprenticeship Maryland Program is a collaboration between the Maryland Department of Labor, the Maryland State Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, participating school systems, and community business and educational partners.

Founded in 2015 as a pilot in Frederick and Washington Counties, the program expanded to Talbot and Queen Anne’s Counties early in 2019.

The program is intended to allow high school juniors and seniors to develop valuable job skills and get a head start on future careers. At the same time, the goal is to support Maryland businesses by training talented, highly skilled workers, a much-needed resource.

“The Maryland Youth Apprenticeship program is a wonderful partnership,” said Anna Howie, TCPS Career and Technology Education Supervisor. ‘It provides Eastern Shore students the opportunity to work with professionals in their area of interest to help guide them as they begin to make future career choices.”

Youth apprenticeship program students work at least 450 hours with a certified employer, while receiving related educational training. The students usually begin working with a state-approved employer during the summer after their junior year in high school.

County school systems coordinate student placements with local businesses. TCPS plans to place up to five students during the program’s inaugural year.

Talbot County students who are interested in becoming an apprentice may contact Internship Coordinator Jodi Colombo at jcolombo@talbotschools.org. Employers wishing to participate in the program should contact Patty Shreves, Eastern Shore Apprenticeship & Training Navigator at patricia.shreves@maryland.gov.

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