How It Works

Together, CareerWise DC stakeholders create meaningful experiences for apprentices and ROI for businesses.

Aligning Education and Workforce Development

Working together to create an innovative system

CareerWise DC modern youth apprentices split their time between their high school classroom or college experience and the workplace. They earn a wage while receiving hands-on work experience where they can apply their classroom learning each week. By the conclusion of the program, apprentices will have:

  • meaningful work experience
  • proficiency in 21st-century professional and technical competencies
  • a professional network
  • the opportunity to earn debt-free college credit or a nationally-recognized industry certification

However, the CareerWise DC model is a mutually beneficial for both apprentices and hiring businesses. By the end of the apprenticeship businesses gain:

  • a positive ROI based on the value of apprentices’ work 
  • reduced turnover costs  
  • a talent pipeline of skilled and loyal workers 


Candidates apply with the hiring companies in the spring for positions that begin in the summer or fall. CareerWise DC apprentices begin their apprenticeships as high school seniors or recent high school graduates.

Employers can select either a two-year or three-year model. Both models ultimately deliver the same benefits to employers, with the two-year model providing a faster train-to-hire for companies that are confident in their internal talent development infrastructure, and a longer runway to work with CareerWise for those companies newer to internal early-career training.

Once hired, most apprentices spend part of their day learning at school and part of the day learning on the job. Post-high school apprentices who are taking a professional gap year or have decided not to enroll in college have the opportunity to fully focus on their apprenticeship.



CareerWise DC works with the school districts and recruiting partners to create the framework for an applied-learning environment that meets district standards, recruit applicants, ensure apprentice work and school schedules are optimized, and acts as an intermediary to ensure a streamlined experience. 

CareerWise DC works with industry to create professional and technical competencies so apprentices can develop in-demand competencies that will set them up for future success. Because youth apprenticeship is a new concept in the United States, CareerWise also works with employers to train supervisors and mentors, and with apprentices to prepare them for success in a professional work environment.

Youth apprenticeship is a new concept in Washington, DC, so CareerWise also works with employers to train supervisors and apprentice coaches, and with apprentices to prepare them for success in a professional work environment.