Milton Hershey School Leads Pennsylvania with first State-Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Program

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The PA Department of Labor and Industry approved the program

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“We are pleased to offer our students a pre-apprenticeship program where they will learn 21st century skills in many lucrative career fields,” MHS President Pete Gurt ’85 said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry recently approved Milton Hershey School’s pre-apprenticeship program—the first of its kind in the state. The pre-apprenticeship program at MHS will give students the ability to work in their desired trade or work industry prior to graduation.

“We are pleased to offer our students a pre-apprenticeship program where they will learn 21st century skills in many lucrative career fields,” MHS President Pete Gurt ’85 said. “As we lead the way for pre-apprenticeship programs in the state, we are eager for our students to pursue postgraduate opportunities that will set them up for success and ultimately lead them to fulfilling and productive lives.”

MHS received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s Apprenticeship Council on Feb. 8 to implement the first state-registered pre-apprenticeship opportunity through its Career and Technical Education program. In addition, the council also approved the state’s first “hybrid” apprenticeship affiliation through the school, connecting a student’s work-based learning experiences in high school to a potential career directly after graduation.

Culinary Arts is the first pre-apprenticeship pathway to be offered to MHS students. MHS and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts have formalized an agreement to offer the pre-apprenticeship opportunity to MHS students who would like to pursue a culinary career. Students also could graduate with a pre-apprenticeship certificate.

“By partnering with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, we are furthering our commitment together to provide students with meaningful career opportunities,” Director of Career and Technical Education Dave Curry said. “As the first state-registered pre-apprenticeship program in PA, our goal is for our students to receive hands-on experiences while in high school and to join the world of work with the necessary training and skills to succeed.”

Within the HE&R agreement, any MHS students who may be hired by HE&R postgraduation will have the opportunity to continue working in an adult apprenticeship program while gaining weekly educational training.

Currently, there are more than 1,000 apprenticeships available in Pennsylvania. MHS is working to provide pre-apprenticeship opportunities to students in all of the school’s 11 career pathways.

Learn more about Milton Hershey School’s award-winning Career and Technical Education program at

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Pictured: (L to R) Mike Schurr, Chairman of the PA Apprenticeship and Training Council; Eric Ramsay, Director of Apprenticeship and Training, PA Department of Labor and Industry; Dave Curry, MHS Director of Career and Technical Education; Dr. Lee Burket, Director of the Bureau of Career and Technical Education.

Milton Hershey School® is one of the world’s best private schools, offering a top-notch education and positive home life to children in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade from families of lower income at no charge.

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Keri Straub
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