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High school students earn while they learn

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By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –Youth Apprenticeship brings academics and real world experience together. High School students over the state earn wages and increase career options through the program.

Blake Ogletree has been working with Albany Tractor for two years. There are several areas students can choose to work in.

Whether you have an interest in agriculture, the arts, or business, they have exactly what your looking for. Ever since he was a young kid fixing things came natural.

"I played with more toy cars than anything. I've kind of always liked working on stuff," said Blake Ogletree. 

Now this on the job experience is priceless especially for a high school student. "I've learned a lot about working on tractors. We break the tractors apart and put them back together," said Ogletree. 

"He can take a tractor apart through close supervision and we make sure he's doing it right," said Albany Tractor Manager Jack Minshew. 

Making sure all the screws are tight helps the tractor to operate. "Hydraulics is what helps us diagnose tractors. You can also look up stuff on the computer about the tractor," said Ogletree. 

He has the Youth Apprenticeship Program to thank for valuable knowledge. "It's great. I get to go to school and still graduate. Plus I get on hands experience." said Ogletree. 

"It enables a student to still map out their plan while still in high school. You can't get from one place to another, without knowing where your going," said Program Director Wayne Baxter. 

There were prerequisites, he took at school that helped him down the road. "He's taking the appropriate classes in high school to link him with what's happening here. Once he graduates, he'll have the chance to go with a great company," said Baxter. 

John Deere is his company of choice. "I would really like to see him further his education, and do the best he can with John Deere," said Minshew.  

With all this preparation, Blake Ogletree is headed straight to the top. The Youth Apprenticeship program will continue to track students, after high school and post secondary graduation.

If you're interested in the program for your students or would like to become a sponsor contact your local school district.

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