The Development of AHSA

After 20 years of successful growth in Tucson, the Kinghorns decided it was time to pass the torch of leadership on to the next generation. Their daughter Kelly now had earned her Doctorate in Education and her long-time colleague Cathy Capen had finished her Master’s degree in accounting and is currently a CPA candidate.

In discussing the growth plan going forward for the next 20 years, the “next geners” announced that they did not want to continue to replicate ROSE Academy locations in Tucson. Instead, they wanted to proceed to a nationwide expansion model with a unique and novel educational offering. Essentially, they sought to enlist Gene and Catherine to help design and implement a new kind of charter high school - one to be owned and operated, under the proven ROSE educational methodologies, by labor unions with established apprentice programs throughout America.

Kelly and Cathy saw this new charter high school rendition, dubbed Apprentice High Schools America (AHSA), as an ideal evolution for the ROSE methodologies in conjunction with the apprentice training operations of the various labor unions. They viewed this combination as the perfect vehicle to address three significant needs:

  1. The first perceived need is for those non-college bound students (the majority in America) to have a high school educational experience that propels them into a self-paced combination of “book learning” and PAID real work life experience.
  2. The next need addressed is the financial requirement for America’s Trade Unions to turn around the 40 plus years of private sector membership decline. New revenue streams must be explored by these unions to re-attain actual growth and sustainability.
  3. The last need is America’s infrastructure repair/replace situation. It is obvious having deferred critical maintenance issues nationally for the past 20 plus years, that the requirement for skilled trades workers for the foreseeable future will grow exponentially.

Gene and Catherine Kinghorn exuberantly affirmed and are now enlisted into developing this novel hybrid educational initiative along with the new generation of leadership at ROSE and interested unions throughout the nation. Having founded 5 schools in the past twenty years, they now believe that 50 or more Apprentice High Schools of America can be developed and launched in less than ten years.

-- The Revolution of the Full Academic Apprenticeship

As Rich Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, recently stated:

“One of the country’s best-kept secrets --- the American labor movement trains more workers than any organization other than the US military.”

No stranger to training workers, the combination of an established apprentice program with one of the most innovative high school charter methodologies would certainly be revolutionary for organized labor. Such an Apprentice High School formed under a public charter, owned and operated by a trade union, would be a unique offering to America’s youth.

Also revolutionary to labor unions is that this would be an entirely new revenue stream. Operated as a public charter school, the owner/operator union would receive funding from the state and/or local school district, ranging on the order of $10,000 to $20,000 per student per year, rewarding the union financially as it enters the realm of EDUCATIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP.

Additionally, many states allow for the completion of a publicly funded high school program until a student’s 22nd birthday. This time frame can allow for a full completion of an apprenticeship as well as for either necessary remedial programs at matriculation or dual crediting with local community or four-year colleges.

Both generations of the ROSE Management Group are experts at curriculum development and credentialization. They are eager to work with labor unions’ established training groups to maximize the synergies of this combined educational endeavor.

The ROSE Management Group believes that the youth of America, American organized labor and America’s infrastructure need and are ready for an innovative solution: the Apprentice High Schools of America.

One important question remains … will your organization explore with us this opportunity to develop the most unique combination of trade apprenticeship and secondary education ever offered?

"For the things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing."

Looking for Revolutionaries

For over 100 years, true progress in the Organized Labor movement has always been led by the Revolutionaries ... the Challengers ... the Innovators. At certain moments, an opportunity presents itself for the Leaders to seize it and transofmr organizations and people's lives.