Photo of Assemblyman Ashby, District Superintendent Dr. Gladys I. Cruz and Assemblyman John McDonalds in front of a dump truck

Questar III District Superintendent Dr. Gladys I. Cruz received a Legislative Resolution from Assemblymembers Jake Ashby and John T. McDonald III honoring the Questar III Youth Apprenticeship Program

On Tuesday, November 10, Questar III BOCES launched its Youth Apprenticeship Program, which is only the second of its kind in New York state, in conjunction with organizations throughout the nation who are recognizing National Apprenticeship Week (Nov. 8-14).

The Questar III Youth Apprenticeship Program will partner with Capital Region businesses to offer high school students paid work experiences, potentially leading to immediate employment after graduation. The program provides students the opportunity to apply skills and knowledge developed through four Questar III Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in apprenticeships during their junior and senior years of high school.

The program targets heavy equipment operations, construction technology, HVAC and welding. Students can also earn nine college credits, as they’ll be dually enrolled in three courses at Hudson Valley Community College. Business partners will offer juniors job shadowing opportunities, allowing them to observe the many facets and varieties of associated careers to which their education can lead, followed by a paid internship in their senior year.

“I am pleased to launch such a wonderful program this year. Through partnerships with local businesses, our students have the opportunity to gain experience outside the classroom not available to most students in the state. The New York State Department of Labor says the number of Capital Region workers approaching retirement is nearly 13 percent higher than the national average, and the number of local workers to replace those retiring is about nine percent lower than the national average. There is an expected 17 percent growth in skilled trade jobs through 2024. The possibilities are endless for students participating in the youth apprenticeship program and for our partner businesses,” said Questar III BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Gladys I. Cruz.

Students in the Heavy Equipment Operations and Maintenance program joined the event.

Cruz was joined at the event by Assemblymembers Jake Ashby and John T. McDonald III, who presented a joint legislative resolution recognizing the program and the benefits it provides for students as well as business partners. Assemblymembers Chris Tague and Didi Barrett also signed the resolution, representing nearly Questar III’s entire tri-county region.

“I am incredibly happy to join Questar III BOCES today as they announce their new Youth Apprenticeship Program. This apprenticeship program will advance efforts to put more young people into the jobs pipeline. Apprenticeships help workers gain in-demand skills while also benefiting employers by offering them an opportunity to develop the exact skills they need to grow in a changing, fast-moving economy,” said Assemblymember John T. McDonald III.

“It is my honor to recognize national apprenticeship week with the kickoff of Questar III’s Youth Apprenticeship Program,” Assemblymember Jake Ashby said. “Programs like this contribute to workforce development and provide our youth an opportunity to learn valuable skills that give them a direct path to high wage, high demand jobs.”


“Apprenticeship programs have long set navigable and achievable workforce paths for those who wish to further their studies while attaining real life experience for real jobs,” said Assemblymember Didi Barrett. “I am pleased that Questar III has unveiled this new Youth Apprenticeship Program now, which I hope will match our students to career tracks that meet the needs of our local communities and businesses, as well as our regional economic sectors.”

“As a proud BOCES student, I cannot overstate the importance of hands-on educational programs that teach our youth real-world skills that can become a basis for a lifelong career,” Assemblymember Chris Tague said. “One-size-fits-all approaches to education are a disservice to the unique skills and talents each of our individual students are blessed with, and BOCES does an amazing job at giving them a chance to pursue their interests and learn marketable skills in a hands-on way that many students benefit from tremendously in comparison to solely learning from a textbook. BOCES is a true asset to our community and our youth, and I stand completely behind their new youth apprenticeship program and all of the other great programs they’ve developed for our students.

Also on hand at Tuesday’s event was Michael Laporte of John Ray and Sons, one of more than a dozen businesses who have signed on to offer students rigorous, authentic workplace experiences.

“John Ray & Sons is glad to be a part of a program that both helps students develop the skill sets that can lead to promising careers while creating a pipeline to employment immediately after high school,” said Laporte.

For information on partnering with Questar III BOCES to offer students in the program apprenticeship opportunities, please contact Jim Church at

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