HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Trade workers are desperately needed. From plumbers to electricians, carpenters, and more. A local non-profit is giving tweens and teens a head start to a promising career.
A busy day at a home under renovation in the Allison Hill section of Harrisburg. “Right now, I’m just patching the cracks around the windows and around the base of the floor,” Janice Baldwin said.
“The kids are renovating or helping to renovate a property. They’ve been painting, they’ve been caulking, they’ve been replacing doors, faucets,” CEO, Patricia Robinson said.
All part of Evolve Youth Trades Academy. “What we do is we take out students through sometimes a six-week program or a program that will take them to prepare them for an actual apprenticeship program. So, we are an approved free apprenticeship program. We start with ages 12-18,” Robinson said.
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If it’s a good fit, those kids could help fill a big void. “There’s a lack of tradesmen and women in the field. There are some that are retiring, but they don’t have enough people to fill those positions, and my goal is to make sure we are introducing more of the black and brown into the trades because we want to diversify the trades as well as fill those positions,” Robinson said.
Positions that pay well. “Carpenters can start out as a pre-apprenticeship making $15 or $16 an hour and they get promotions every six months. So, by the time they get out of the trades, four years into the trades they could be making, you know, $25 or $30 an hour,” Robinson said.
“I like hands-on things. I like to build things, that’s why I like this program,” Roxy Burnette said.
Each job site has an experienced licensed instructor. “My trade is carpentry. I do a little bit of everything carpentry, plumbing, basic labor work,” Instructor Daryl Harris said.
In addition to the skills, and the money “They get credit hours; I have two students that are in high school. So, they’re going to get credit hours towards an apprenticeship program. We also give them a stipend to help,” Robinson said.
“You can make a living. It’s like a big arts and crafts project but bigger. I think it would be a good job opportunity when I get older,” Janice Baldwin said.
To learn more about Evolve Trades Academy, you can visit their website through the link here.