First Lady Dr. Jill Biden kicks off National Apprenticeship Week in Chicago

The country's first lady visited the Chicago area Monday to kick off National Apprenticeship Week, while touting the administration's plans to help young people prepare for good jobs.

Dressed in school colors, Dr. Jill Biden visited Rolling Meadows High School — leaving students a bit awestruck.

Biden was flanked by the U.S. Secretaries of Education and the U.S. Secretary of Labor, all teaming up to talk about putting young people on the path to high-paying jobs.

"They can start early, they can decide on what they want to do, and so not everybody needs to have a four-year degree. This is all about jobs," said Dr. Biden.


The first lady checked out a couple of the dozens of career courses offered in District 214, such as robotics.

"You can do education, nursing, veterinary science, aerospace, there’s just so many more opportunities," student Gabriella Dieden explained.

Oscar Cabrera demonstrated his high-mileage car, in front of the high-profile guests.

"It was fun. Let’s say that I have a lack of words, but it was very nice," he said.

These big names had serious praise for the Careers Pathways programs at the high school.

"If we could take what we have here and bottle up, this would be a better country," said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

"It makes us take a step back and look at the opportunities that we have at our school and how impressive and awesome they are," said senior student Sam McQueen.

This Biden administration team unveiled a new program called "Raise the Bar" to expand access to training programs to get young people ready for today's top fields and tomorrow's, including those created by the Infrastructure Law and the CHIPS and Science Act.

"It’s not old school manufacturing. It’s working on computers, technology. It's completely different," said Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.

After Rolling Meadows, the first lady visited the Aon Center downtown to talk about the Chicago Apprentice Network and community colleges.