For Immediate Release: Nov. 17, 2022
Media Contact: Gina.Robison@labor.idaho.gov
“Booper Dreams Big: An Almost True Story of Apprenticeship,” is a new Idaho children’s book released today as part of National Apprenticeship Week in Idaho (Nov. 14-20).
Idaho’s First Lady Teresa Little read the new children’s book to a class of third graders at Owyhee Elementary in Nampa as an early kick-off of National Apprenticeship Week.
“Booper Dreams Big” is designed to introduce the concept of apprenticeship to kindergarten-fifth grade students and is part of a broader K-12 apprenticeship awareness initiative developed by the Idaho Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Idaho program. Research suggests exposing children early to different career paths encourages the habit of lifelong career planning.
“Education is the most important resource we have in developing Idaho’s workforce and career opportunities,” said the First Lady. “An apprenticeship is another educational pathway, one that can translate to fulfilling, high-paying jobs for Idahoans of all backgrounds.”
The book follows Booper the dog as he learns the value of career education through an apprenticeship as a satellite technician.
A downloadable version of “Booper Dreams Big” is available for free in English and in a bilingual English-Spanish version at ApprenticeshipIdaho.gov. Educators can also request a free physical copy of the book at the same site. Requests are limited to one book per classroom.
AmeriCorps VISTA member Elaine Zabriskie wrote and designed the book. Zabriskie has worked with Apprenticeship Idaho over the past year to support sustainable change in areas that effect poverty such as education and workforce opportunities. A teacher resource guide for “Booper Dreams Big” — complete with comprehension, sequencing and other learning activities for students — was created by Jessica Garcia Gonzalez, a third-grade teacher at Wilder Elementary.
The book was published by the Idaho Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Idaho team with funding from a $1.3 million U.S. Department of Labor Apprenticeship State Expansion grant.
The release of this book, coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week, celebrates the coming together of business, government, educators and private organizations in supporting the economy through work opportunities.
Registered Apprenticeship programs allow workers to get on-the-job training while earning guaranteed wage increases.
“Registered Apprenticeships provide a talent pipeline that serves both businesses and workers,” said Idaho Department of Labor Director Jani Revier. “Workers who complete an apprenticeship earn a competitive wage while employers gain highly skilled employees trained for their specific business needs.”
More than 230 Idaho businesses are sponsoring Registered Apprenticeship programs, and 1,800 people are enrolled as apprentices.
According to Apprenticeship.gov, the average starting wage after completing a Registered Apprenticeship program is $77,000. Of these graduates, 93% continue in paid employment, broadening the workforce.
For more information on apprenticeship opportunities in Idaho, visit ApprenticeshipIdaho.gov.
The Idaho Department of Labor’s Apprenticeship Idaho program is 100% funded by the U.S. Department of Labor as part of Employment and Training Administration grants totaling $10,069,769.