Building the future: New pre-apprenticeship program setting students up for success

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It starts next year and would allow students to go directly into an full-apprenticeship program

HANOVERTON, Ohio (WKBN) – A construction trades pre-apprenticeship program is starting next year at United Local High School and it going to help propel students into a career after graduation.

“Our goal here is to prepare students to have a pathway to a career after they get out of high school,” Principal Dr. William Young said. “Whether they’re going to college, whether they’re going into the military, whether they’re going into the workforce directly in the trades, or if they’re going to start their own business. We want to have students come out of high school and know where they’re able to go and follow their dreams.”

The program is sponsored by RemoteEDx grant from the Ohio Department of Education. United is one of nine schools, including East Palestine, in the region that is part of the grant coordinated through the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio.

Students would graduate with Industry Recognized Credentials, which align with new graduation requirements and diploma seals.

Juniors and seniors are eligible and would take Building Trades 1 and 2. Those courses will teach the students multiple trades including carpentry, cement and bricklaying, iron working, roofing and sheet metal working, among other skills.

“Students will actually earn that pre-apprenticeship seal and be able to transition to a full-apprenticeship program,” Young said.

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America in Richfield, Ohio is partnering with involved schools. After graduation, seniors would be able to go into their apprenticeship program.

“Students will leave here, go directly into that, get paid while they’re being full apprentices and be able to participate in the training,” Young said.

Students would attend four week-long classes per year after graduation at the location in Richfield while being paid $18/hour with built-in pay increases up to $31/hour when they’re done with the program.

“There’s a huge demand for students who can graduate and have hands-on skills and be able to go into a trade and be knowledgable about those things,” Woodshop instructor Rebecca Zeisler said. “I have a lot of students who have already come and talked to me about ‘What are we going to be doing?’ ‘What are you going to teach us?'”

Currently, there are 56 students taking woodshop, with 30 of them eligible for the pre-apprenticeship program next year. There are also plans to expand woodshop to middle school students next year.

“Many of them are excited to go into carpentry as a trade. Some of them just want to learn how to fix things on their own because they know they’re going to own their own house some day and be able to run a drill to hang pictures and things like that. A lot of kids don’t know those things,” Zeisler said.

Young and Zeisler said they are looking to bring industry professionals in to teach students how to do various projects such as plumbing and electrical work.

Anyone interested in participating in the teaching aspect or anyone that would like to donate materials or money can call the school at 330-223-1521.

“It’s a super opportunity for our kids. We’re excited about the program and to be able to offer it for our students,” Young said.

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