Congratulations to the VR Agencies Selected to Join the Rural Youth Apprenticeship Development Learning Collaborative!

The Rural Youth Apprenticeship Development Project (RYAD) team welcomes three vocational rehabilitation agencies working with us to develop apprenticeships programs for youth with disabilities in underserved rural communities! 

The RYAD team is excited to work with these agencies to: 

  • Develop policies that support apprenticeship programs in rural areas  

  • Help address rural-specific barriers to apprenticeship program implementation  

  • Implement rural strategies and best practices to improve apprenticeship outcomes for youth with disabilities, and 

  • Enhance statewide collaborations to facilitate the apprenticeship process to benefit both businesses and jobseekers in rural communities  

Find out who we selected and why they are excited to join the RYAD Project with the images, audio clips, and statements they provided below! 

Vermont Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired 


Listen to the full audio clip and view transcript.  


Vermont Division of Vocational Rehabilitation 


Photo description: Man working in a mechanical shop fixing machine equipment.  

“At the Vermont Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, we are excited to be a part of the Rural Youth Apprenticeship Development (RYAD) project because it aligns directly with where we want to go as a career pathway development organization. We have recently made significant strides forward with providing more work-based learning experiences, post-secondary exploration, dual enrollment opportunities, and assistive technology supports for VR-enrolled youth through our 5-year Linking Learning to Careers initiative. Our next steps include creating additional credentialed trainings, pre-apprenticeships, and registered apprenticeships for our customers that lead to high quality, high-wage careers. RYAD is an excellent match for us in Vermont and will enable us to collaborate with other states and national experts to advance our career pathway efforts.” 


Wyoming Division of Vocational Rehabilitation  


Photo description: Two deer standing in the middle of an open field. Photo credit: Kristy Behnke MRC, CRC - VR Counselor. 

“Wyoming is known for being the "Equality State" and being a part of the RYAD Learning Collaborative helps us to continue to work towards equality and equity for our Wyoming youth who may identify as having a disability and barrier to employment. Wyoming contains some of the most rural communities with limited employment opportunities for our youth. The RYAD Learning Collaborative allows Wyoming to learn from other states on how to create and implement pre-apprenticeship programming for our Wyoming youth. These pre-apprenticeship opportunities will help our Pre-ETS eligible youth explore and develop quality employment goals and outcomes that will be sustainable in our rural communities.” 


The RYAD Project is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant # 90DPK00006-01-00).