MADISON, Wis. — On the first day of school for many students in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker is touting his plan to expand youth apprenticeships.

Walker on Tuesday released a new television ad and described in more detail his proposal to expand youth apprenticeship programming to students in 7th through 10th grades. The program currently makes about $3.9 million available a year to connect about 4,400 11th and 12th grade students with over 3,000 employers.

Walker says making the program available to younger students will allow them to identify industries they're interested in earlier, increase their engagement with school, give them a jumpstart on their career and improve graduation rates.

Walker faces Democrat Tony Evers in November.

Evers spokeswoman Britt Cudaback says Walker "trumpeting an unspecified investment in a targeted program" won't make voters forget about previous cuts he made to public education.