RAP Center opens at Marysville-Pilchuck High School
By LUKE PUTVIN | January 21, 2019
On January 7, Marysville-Pilchuck High School had its ribbon cutting for the Regional Apprenticeship Pathways (RAP) Program. The RAP Program will provide high school students a direct pathway into the apprenticeship pipeline.
According to its website, the RAP Program “will be the first of its kind in North Snohomish County with a focus on increasing economic mobility and closing the construction skills gap. RAP is working to develop a clear apprenticeship pipeline that can lead to a career in the trades.”
The program also partners with Everett Community College and allows students to earn dual college credits and high school credit equivalencies leading to graduation.
“We are very, very proud of the RAP center,” said Jason Thompson, Marysville School District Superintendent. “We are just getting rolling with this, and we have been waiting for this for a very long time. RAP is a program that’s not only needed in Marysville or North Snohomish County, but across the state, and probably across the nation.”
Thompson also extended gratitude toward the collective efforts initiated by Snohomish County Councilman Nate Nehring. Nehring spoke directly after Thompson and addressed all of the elected officials present including a large number of House Representatives, Linda Hjelle, Heidi Percy, Megan Dunn, representatives from the offices of Dave Somers, Governor Jay Inslee and Rick Larsen among others.
“The RAP program began as just a group of people sitting around a table trying to solve a problem,” Nehring said. Their plan was to bring together a group of people from the building trades, industries and government partners. The group identified a lack of a direct pathway to enter apprenticeships and the skilled trades.
“While our schools do a really great job preparing students for college, there are a lot of students who have interests or skillsets that lend toward different pathways,” Nehring added.
He also added that the average age for someone in an apprenticeship is about 28, and he said that this is not only ten years of lost productivity for the workforce but for the individual.
“Students in Snohomish County now have a great program which has been designed to help train and prepare them for successful careers in the skilled trades,” Nehring said. The graduates of the program get their high school diploma, college credential designed by Everett Community College and preferred entry into state-certified apprenticeship programs. “Our hope is that the success of the RAP program can be an inspiration for other programs around the state creating opportunities and career pathways for our youth.”
Nehring extended his thanks to all the work done by State Representative Mike Sells of the 38th Legislative District to help get the funding approved.
“It’s easy to hit a home run when people come to you and they’re already on third base,” Sells said. He also mentioned the bipartisan support the funding for the program received. “It was a bipartisan piece; republicans and democrats. We worked together, and when we work together and the community works together, this is what we can get done.”
Sells also hoped that this program can be a model for other places in the region. “I’ve already had another school district ask: ‘why didn’t you do that for us?’ I said, ‘why didn’t you ask?’”
Bryce Peterson, a senior and a RAP Program student spoke at the ribbon cutting. He had always planned on going to college and thought it was the only way to go. However, he has lived on a farm his whole life and has built greenhouses there, among doing other things.
“I want to work with my hands and do realistic, critical-thinking,” Peterson said. He discovered opportunities in the trades, couldn’t get into Sno-Isle Skills Center due to a tardy application and ended up getting the RAP Program.
The Lynnwood Times reached out to the Edmonds School District to ask if they were going to be a part of the program.
“We are not a part of the Regional Apprenticeship Pathways Center at Marysville-Pilchuck High School,” said Harmony Weinberg, Media and Public Relations Supervisor at ESD. “Our district does provide several opportunities for our students when it comes to Career and Technical Education.”
To see what course offerings are at particular ESD high schools, visit the Career and Technical Education website at cte.edmonds.wednet.edu. For more information about the RAP Program, visit www.msvl.k12.wa.us/article/128441.