Topeka, Kan. – Registered apprenticeships build connections that significantly benefit students, employers and the economy. As these programs gain momentum across the nation and state, Washburn Tech joins the movement by hiring Courtenay Wills as associate director of apprenticeships and custom training.

Wills is responsible for creating, implementing and managing Washburn Tech’s registered apprenticeship program.  She brings 10 years of experience to the position such as coordinating customized training, providing workforce development, recruiting and managing apprenticeship programs. 

Most recently, Wills served as workforce manager of apprenticeship at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Mo. where she developed relationships with employers to provide a variety of apprenticeships in different fields. Wills won a 2022 Power of Work Award from Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas for her work in scaling up next generation and decreasing the skills gap.

Prior to MCC, Wills served as director of KC Metro Center satellite campus. She earned a Master of Communication from Missouri State University and a bachelor’s degree in communication/public relations from Missouri Western State University.  Wills will graduate this December with her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Kansas State University.

“We are fortunate to hire someone with Courtenay’s expertise and passion for creating registered apprenticeships. She will hit the ground running and have an immediate impact on our students and business community,” said Mark Stock, director, Washburn Tech Business & Industry Center.

Registered apprenticeship is an industry-driven, high-quality career pathway where employers develop and prepare their future workforce. Students obtain classroom instruction, paid work experience and industry-recognized credentials. Through this investment, employers develop relationships with employees, local partners and supportive services while building a successful pipeline of qualified workers.

“We have to do college differently - work differently and train differently - to continue to provide and recruit highly technical and skilled employees to our Kansas communities,” said Mike Strohschein, dean, Washburn Tech. “By hiring Courtenay, we are aligning with the state of Kansas which just established an Office of Registered Apprenticeship. Washburn Tech is excited to lead these efforts in Northeast Kansas.”


For more information, contact Lori Hutchinson at (785) 670-2199 or

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