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Student registered apprentices to officially sign at May 5 Salem Red Sox game during teacher appreciation night

Dozens of new student registered apprentices will officially sign with their partner businesses at a special event on Friday, May 5 beginning at 5:30 p.m. before the Salem Red Sox game.  This event will celebrate the official beginning of each student’s registered apprenticeship with a partner business.

“Much like we recognize high school students who are committing to a college for sports, we will recognize these students who are taking the initiative to begin an apprenticeship that could lead to a successful career,” said Jess Truax, work-based learning coordinator for Roanoke City Public Schools. 

Additionally, this game is Teacher Appreciation Night.  The educators of the year from Salem and Roanoke County will throw out the first pitches of the game and all teachers, faculty and school staff from any school district in the region will receive a free ticket courtesy of Blue Eagle Credit Union.  Further, non-educators can purchase discounted tickets in advance through the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce website at  (Note – login is not required to purchase discounted tickets – must be purchased in advance). 

“We will have live music from Jstop Latin Soul, special activities and much more,” said Joe LeGault, supervisor of English and RCPS Online for Roanoke County Public Schools, and current board member for the Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce.  “We encourage all school employees to come out and show their support for our student apprentices and our teachers of the year.  We also invite the community to come out early and meet some of the great businesses that are in Roanoke County and Salem.  We thank these businesses for continuing to support our schools and our community,” LeGault added.

Managed by the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) in Virginia, the registered apprenticeship program offers a unique work-based learning model for 16–18-year-old students.  Student apprentices work towards earning credentials associated with each business through employment training and instruction.  Apprentices are employed by the company.   Once the student completes the program, they are eligible for a Journeyman’s license.  This is a widely recognized credential that indicates the student has relevant training and is on the path to becoming a master in their industry.

The Student Registered Apprenticeship program began in the Roanoke Valley in 2017 with a pilot program by Roanoke County Public Schools, the Va. Department of Labor and Industry and the Western Virginia Water Authority.  Salem City Public Schools and Roanoke City Public Schools joined the regional program a few years later.  Currently, more than two dozen businesses have hosted student apprenticeships, and many students have been hired by their partner business to work full-time after graduation.