The state has launched a new program to get students at four school districts ready for registered apprenticeships.

The new offering will include Waukee's APEX program in which high school seniors learn advanced skills in manufacturing, construction and technology fields with the help of MidAmerican Energy, Weitz Co., Master Builders of Iowa, Neumann Bros. Construction, Remodelworks, Pillar, LightEdge Solutions and Accumold. Boone's project-based program in plumbing and electrical fields was added to the "quality pre-apprenticeship program," as were offerings in Muscatine and Spencer.

"These four STEM BEST partners continue to make strong connections with the local businesses in their communities," Kemin Industries President and CEO Chris Nelson, co-chair of the STEM Council, said in a statement. "This new pilot opportunity will build on what they've already established and will help students earn applicable credentials when they graduate high school to further their education in some of the most in-demand careers in our state."

In their proposals, the four school districts showed proven partnerships and agreed to deliver a manual for other schools and partners on how to create the programs.