A house bill to create regional apprenticeships for high school students in Washington now goes to the senate.

7th District Representative Jacqeline Maycumber of Republic is the prime sponsor behind the house approved measure that she calls "running start for the trades."

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"Many kids don't know how to read a tape measure. They don't understand flow. I go to the high school and I volunteer and I have three kids in public school. And many of them don't know if they can pass one of the trades exams." Maycumber said. "They want to be taught. They're asking questions and we have the curriculum available. We have the curriculum from the trades today."

And when it's time to collect their high school diploma, Maycumber says many students don't know what they're going to do with their future.

"Every kid has hope for the day after graduation and support themselves. I think I've said before, the reason I've done this job is I don't want to export our greatest commodity and that is our children. When you have a skill, you can come back into the community and make it better." Maycumber said.

The bill also requires the apprenticeship program to offer students dual credit opportunities to meet high school graduation requirements and earn credit toward either a post-secondary degree or industry recognized credential.

If passed by the senate and signed by the governor, the pilot program will consist of five regional apprenticeships, three on the west side of the state and two on the east side of the state.

At least one of the eastern sites must be located in an educational service district with a high percentage of small, rural school districts that lack convenient access to skill centers or other workforce development facilities or programs.

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