Youth Apprenticeship Program Overview

M&T is proudly partnering with Say Yes Buffalo and CareerWise Greater Buffalo to launch a Youth Apprentice Program. This is a modern youth apprenticeship initiative that promotes equitable career pathways for students and addresses the local demand for skilled talent to fill high-quality, in-demand occupations in the western New York (WNY) region.

The initiative is being implemented in partnership with Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) district leadership and six inaugural employer partners: Harmac Medical Products, Moog, M&T Bank, Rich Products, Tesla and Wegmans.

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"By hiring apprentices, we’re adding talented team members who bring diverse skillsets, backgrounds and perspectives to our company, and it makes us stronger. "

— Michelle-Marie Gant,  Senior Vice President, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, M&T Bank

What is a Youth Apprenticeship Program?

Youth Apprenticeship is a proven education and workforce strategy that combines paid, structured on-the-job training with related, classroom learning.  A youth apprenticeship is a structured, work-based learning program designed to start when apprentices graduate from high school.  High-quality youth apprenticeship programs are built on partnerships that include employers, high schools, and providers of postsecondary education, most often a community college.  

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Paid, on-the-job learning under the supervision of skilled employee mentors for three years

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Related, classroom-based instruction from Hilbert College.


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Ongoing assessments against established skills and competency standards 

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Support by breaking down systemic barriers to entry into a professional career

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At M&T, Our Apprentices

  • Are part-time M&T Employees working in Business Operations & Technology
  • Work year – round, adjusting their schedules to take on more hours during school breaks (mid-semester & summer)
  • Receive wraparound supports from CareerWise Greater Buffalo and Say Yes Buffalo.
  • Have an ecosystem built by their manager & program management team to support them during their Apprenticeship
  • Work out of M&T Buildings in Downtown Buffalo

How It Works

Apprentices split time between school and work, operating on a schedule that works for both the students and M&T. M&T follows a conventional approach which means that they are to spend their entire 3-year apprenticeship in the same role and department under the same supervision of the same supervisor.

Over the course of 3 years, their hours slowly ramp up as they become more comfortable taking classes as well as working in a productive nurturing environment.


On-the-job training, in the form of occupation, rotation or projects

Year 1

10-20 hours a week

Year 2

20-24 hours a week

Year 3

24-35 hours a week

Additional Training

External Training

Industry certifications and college coursework

Classroom Based Instruction

Apprentices attend Hilbert College taking 1- 3 courses relevant to their on-the-job training.

Do you live in the Buffalo area and want to find out more?

The Youth Apprentice Experience

Zamoni Johnson is a M&T Employee, Buffalo State University Freshmen, and Youth Apprentice via Say Yes and CareerWise Greater Buffalo. 

Zamoni has taken time to share her experience and would love to share.

Apprentice Facts:

  • The CareerWise youth apprenticeship model pairs real-world work experience with classroom learning and specialized instruction leading to post-secondary credentials.
  • Apprentice employers develop strong, diverse talent pipelines, lower hiring costs, and see an overall return on investment based on the increasingly valuable contributions of the youth apprentices.
  •  The program is designed to be business-led, with industry informing the occupations and training plans to ensure that the apprenticeships are always relevant and valuable to employers. 
  • After the completion of their three-year apprenticeships, the students will have earned a certificate or two-year degree and can expect to land a full-time job that pays around $45,000 a year. The median wage in the Buffalo area is about $56,000.

M&T Bank Corporation is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, including disabilities and veterans.