State of Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship Program in Biotechnology - Dane County

Academic Year 2016-2017

In 2016-2017, there are twenty-six seniors and four juniors enrolled in the Dane County Youth Apprenticeship Program in Biotechnology (YAP-Biotechnology). They come from thirteen area high schools: Belleville, DeForest, Exploration Academy Charter School, Madison Memorial, Madison West,   McFarland,   Middleton,   Monona Grove,   Oregon,   Stoughton,  Sun Prairie, Verona and Waunakee.

Work-sites for academic year 2016-2017 include: BellBrook Labs, Biopharmaceutical Technology Center Institute, Complete Phytochemical Solutions, LLC, CRI, FluGen, Inc., Ganser Scientific, Morgridge Institute for Research, USDA-ARS Cereal Crops Research Unit, USDA-ARS Vegetable Crops Research Unit, the UW-Madison Departments of Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Entomology, Horticulture, Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Surgery, and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services State Vital Records Office.

The apprentices spend approximately half their day attending high school classes, and half their day at their worksite. In addition they are enrolled in a specialized lab course taught weekly at the BTC Institute. Chad Zimprich (Promega Scientist), Barbara Bielec (K-12 Program Director, BTC Institute) and Ryan Olson (Biotechnology Instructor, BTC Institute) serve as the instructors. The apprentices take the biotechnology class throughout the year, and start work between November and January.

The program is coordinated by Josh Fassl (Director, Dane County School Consortium), Karin Borgh (Executive Director, BTC Institute), and Barbara Bielec.

Background Information

Since June, 1993, the BTC Institute has been actively involved in the development and implementation of the Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship Program in Biotechnology, as administered by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The BTC Institute assists in coordinating this two year program for high school juniors and seniors, which includes a 10-15 hours per week paid apprenticeship in an industry or university lab setting and specialized instruction, in addition to traditional high school coursework.

In October, 1993, the State Youth Apprenticeship Advisory Council officially approved the program, authorizing state funds to be released for curriculum development. The corresponding skill standards -- a set of duties and tasks to be completed during worksite experiences -- was developed with considerable input from representatives of industry, as well as of secondary and post-secondary educational institutions.

The content of the specialized laboratory-based course is designed to interface closely with the skills and knowledge necessary to participate effectively, as also reflected in the duties and tasks set forth in the skill standards. Curriculum materials for this course were revised in 2010, with the BTC Institute working closely with Madison College on this project.  The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Skill Standards Checklist was revised in 2011 (see www.dcsc.org).

Originally coordinated locally through CESA 2 - Dane County and the BTC Institute, the program was launched in Fall 1994 with six Dane County high school juniors placed at biotechnology facilities in the area, including Hazleton Wisconsin, Inc., Promega Corporation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As the program continued to evolve, ABS Global, BioTechnique, the Department of Natural Resources, EMD Chemicals, Genus PIC, Harlan Sprague Dawley, Illumina,   Infigen Inc., Lake Mills Veterinary Clinic, Lodi Veterinary Care, Mycogen Plant Sciences, Midstates Associates, MOFA Global, Powder Ject Vaccines, Rhone-Poulenc, PPD, Inc., TJ|H2b Analytical Services USA, USDA-ARS Vegetable Crops Research Unit, WiCell, and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, have also served as work-sites. The list of UW-Madison Departments that have participated in the program includes: Agronomy, Animal Sciences, Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Comparative Biosciences, Entomology, Food Science, Genetics, Horticulture, Mechanical Engineering, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Opthalmology and Visual Sciences, Plant Pathology, as well as the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, the UW Enzyme Institute, the UW School of Pharmacy, UW-Biotechnology Center, and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center.


For More Information

Please Contact:

Josh Fassl
Dane County School Consortium
E-mail: jfassl@dcsc.org

Barbara Bielec
BTC Institute
E-mail: barbara.bielec@btci.org

Dr. Karin Borgh
BTC Institute
E-mail: karin.borgh@btci.org