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Four CTE centers receive $700,000 apprenticeship grant

A student uses a comb to brush a mannequin's hair.
FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks
IPB News
Four regional CTE centers received a $700,000 grant from Ascend Indiana.

Four career and technical education centers around Indiana will split $700,000 to pilot local youth apprenticeship programs. The grant, which was awarded by Ascend Indiana, will fund apprenticeships in healthcare, information technology, advanced manufacturing and business.

Larry Fuesler, assistant director of talent development at the Southern Indiana Education Center, said the goal is for students to have careers, not just jobs.

“They’re able to really come in at an entry level at a hospital or a senior care center or a clinic, and they’re able to advance their career through additional certifications and education,” he said.

The centers that received the grant are Southern Indiana Works in New Albany, Eastern Indiana Works in Muncie partnered with East Central Education Service Center in New Castle, Southern Indiana Education Center in Jasper and West Central Indiana Career and Technical Education Center in Crawfordsville. They will receive $175,000 each.

All four sites identified career pathways that are needed in their local communities and plan to focus heavily on healthcare apprenticeships. They will use the grant money to hire support staff, develop coursework and pay for certifications.

“It's not the silver bullet to solve all of the employment issues that we have filling jobs, but it's a very important one because we have very talented youth and we need to really get them in meaningful careers,” Fuesler said.

Ascend Indiana says more than 500 students across the state have participated in youth apprenticeships through the Indiana Youth Apprenticeship Accelerator. The IYAA was created in 2021 and has awarded funding to two rounds of cohorts so far.

Fuesler says he hopes that number grows as more apprenticeship options become available.

“It's a time where there's a lot of opportunity,” he said. “I think it's just getting young people introduced to it, getting them exposed to it and finding what they're passionate about.”

Kirsten is our education reporter. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter at @kirsten_adair.

Kirsten the Indiana Public Broadcasting education reporter. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter at @kirsten_adair.