Skip to main content

Buffalo Apprenticeship Programs: What You Need to Know

By December 4, 2023December 19th, 2023Say Yes Buffalo

Many high school students graduate and head off to a two- or four-year college. However, that’s not always the right path for everyone. Whether you’re unsure about what to study in college, need to start providing for your family immediately, or feel that traditional learning environments aren’t the right fit for you, there are alternative options to consider. Apprenticeship programs like CareerWise Greater Buffalo offer a unique bridge between job-building skills and education that can lead to a lasting career.

What Is an Apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a structured program where accepted applicants work for a company while attending a higher education institution on a modified schedule, typically within a set timeframe. Apprentices gain important job skills in a hands-on environment while completing education requirements related to the industry and job role they are actively working in. Though apprenticeships have traditionally been associated with trade positions like carpentry and electrical, there are actually opportunities in other industries. Some programs include options in financial services, information technology (IT), business operations, and advanced manufacturing, just to name a few.

Benefits of an Apprenticeship

One of the top advantages of an apprenticeship program is the pay. Since apprentices are working real jobs, they earn money as they learn industry skills and gain valuable job experience. Since some apprenticeship programs cover the cost of higher education and needed supplies through grants and scholarships, the pay apprentices earn can be used to support themselves or their families.

Another key benefit of apprenticeship programs is the education component. Apprentices take college courses as part of their program, allowing them to earn a certification, an associate degree, or even a Bachelor’s degree. Along the way, apprentices can count on support from counselors from the apprenticeship program and educational institution to guide them through their educational requirements, help them achieve their goals, and offer mental health assistance as needed.

What Happens After an Apprenticeship?

Upon completion of the program, apprentices have a few different options available to them. In many cases, an apprentice may be hired by the company they worked for during their program and continue working in their role as a full-time employee. An apprentice may also take the skills they learned and the experience they earned in their industry to apply for other jobs. If apprentices decide to continue pursuing higher education, they could use the credits they’ve earned to work toward two-year or even four-year degrees.

How to Get an Apprenticeship

CareerWise Greater Buffalo is a modern youth, racial-equity-focused apprenticeship program on the rise. Associated with Say Yes Buffalo, CareerWise Greater Buffalo’s goal is to provide more flexible post-high school options to students on track to graduate from the Buffalo Public School system, including students in city charter schools. Students who apply to the program go through a hiring process with partnering companies that have undergone anti-bias and racial equity training. Hired applicants are accepted into the program, where they receive industry job training and related formal higher education instruction at institutions in Buffalo, including Villa Maria College.

Why Attend Villa as an Apprentice?

Villa Maria College is proud to work with CareerWise Greater Buffalo. As a student- and equity-oriented college, Villa believes everyone should be able to find opportunity and success; there are just different pathways to reach them. Apprentices can choose to take classes in person or online and can work towards a certification or an associate’s degree in the program. If you’re interested in Buffalo apprenticeships, please reach out to Villa or CareerWise Greater Buffalo to learn more and explore your options.