Caroline County Economic Development

July 2023 Director’s Note: CCPS’s Youth Apprenticeship Program

From Caroline County Public Schools, June 9, 2023, “Emma Robinson, a Colonel Richardson High School rising senior, recently signed Caroline’s third Youth Apprenticeship contract with Bri Farrell-Rutkowski and John Rutkowski, owners of Craft Bakery & Café in Denton.”

Most businesses can participate in the Youth Apprentice Program. Eric Cook is the liaison to the schools and the businesses. He has been talking about the Youth Apprentice Program to businesses for a couple of years now. The first thing he points out is that this is not a traditional apprentice program. The program allows business to bring on qualified students to work together toward real life experience, and in some cases, earn professional certification.

“Youth apprenticeships are a great way for high school students to gain real-world experience and explore career paths while earning a paycheck,” CCTC Principal Courtney Handte said. “It is vital that we expose young people to the workforce, and we appreciate Craft Bakery and Cafe stepping up to provide this opportunity to Emma.”

Craft Bakery and Café, located on Third Street in Denton, is a seasonally focused bakery & cafe with fresh, in-house roasted coffee. The business was opened in early 2022.

The program is also not like traditional apprenticeships in the variety of industries and disciplines that students can enter that either parallel the programs at the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center or careers where students can earn a livable wage with an opportunity for career growth.  Some examples of positions that can be filled by a Youth Apprentice include human resources, carpentry, engineering, horticulture, marketing, logistics, and technicians.

It is important to note that a student who is hired as a Youth Apprentice is not an intern and is not free labor. The concept of the program is to provide actual work-based training to supplement instructional training and receive quality work – all for an affordable wage.

If you are interested in the Youth Apprenticeship program, reach out to Eric Cook at or 410-479-0100. He has a real passion for working with businesses to connect them with the perfect student.

FYI – Help us get the word out about the available space in Caroline County. If you have a supplier or customer that is looking for a great place to do business, please have them reach out to me.

Caroline County Economic Development and Tourism is an office within Caroline County government. For updates on any future business support, sign up for our newsletter, and follow Caroline County Economic Development on Facebook.

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