Building Our Future
The inaugural Summer Careers Academy program, called "Building Our Future" (BOF), is a Registered Youth Apprenticeship program (Pre-Apprenticeship) in the skilled trades. The eight-week summer program offers young adults (age 16-24) with free career training and a paid work experience ($12.56/hour "Learning Wage") in a promising career pathway.
All young adults in Orange County (ages 16-24) are encouraged to complete the Participant Interest Form now! The cohort is specially designed to meet the needs of those who are underrepresented and underserved, including refugees, students of color, and low-income students. No prior experience is required and participants:
- Receive competitive salary, equipment, and support (food, transportation, and language services);
- Earn high school credit and industry-recognized credentials (NCCER, OSHA-10, CPR/First Aid) as well as college prior learning credit and access to Apprenticeships and college scholarships; and
- Become prepared for immediate, full-time employment.
Fifteen students participated in the BOF inaugural 2022 cohort and 100% (15) successfully completed the program and 80% (12) earned the NC Registered Youth Apprenticeship Certificate. The application for the 2023 cohort has closed, but those interested in joining the 2024 cohort should complete the Participant Interest Form now and direct any questions to Summer Careers Academy coordinator, Heather Kasey, at (919) 357-2878 (m).
All small, mid-size, and large enterprises in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in Orange County and the surrounding area that have job opportunities in the skilled trades - especially carpentry, plumbing, electrical, HVAC-R, and masonry - are encouraged to complete the Employer Interest Form now! Participating employers:
- Enjoy access to a nontraditional talent pool;
- Grow their workforce through a low-risk, high-reward program; and
- Increase interest in and appreciation for the skilled trades as a dynamic profession with in-demand jobs that pay family-thriving wages.
More than 75 employers engaged with the Summer Careers Academy Steering Committee since 2021 to help develop the model, and eleven diverse employers participated in the inaugural BOF 2022 cohort, including BOLD Construction, Brown Brothers Plumbing and Heating, Bryant-Durham Electric, BuildSense, CARROLL, Green Horizon One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Marcoplos Construction, Orange County Government, Piedmont Electric Cooperative, The Lundy Management Group, and the Town of Chapel Hill.
The application for the 2023 cohort has closed, but employers interested in the 2024 cohort should complete the Employer Interest Form and direct any questions to Summer Careers Academy Steering Committee Member, Katie Loovis, at (919) 696-0781 (m).
The training, assessment, certification, and career development standards are based on the respected and widely-adopted National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) core construction curriculum. The rigorous, competency-based and industry-recognized career and technical education curriculum prepares students for careers in the skilled trades, including occupations in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, masonry, and heating and air conditioning.
This is an eight-week summer career training program from June 2023 through August 2023 with staggered in-classroom learning and on-the-job work experience. The in-classroom learning takes place at Cedar Ridge High School from approximately 8:30am-4pm and the work experience takes place on employer job sites and the hours are set by the employer. The 2023 calendar will be released soon.
The "Building Our Future" skilled trades Pre-Apprenticeship program is made possible through generous contributions from the following:
- Founding Funders: NC Education and Innovation Workforce Commission and The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust
- Financial Contributors: Marcoplos Construction and Leon Meyers
- In-kind Contributors: 84 Lumber, Chapel Hill Transit, Fitch Lumber, Professional Builders Supply, BuildersFirst Source, and Talbert Building Supply
If you would like to support this worthy program, then contact the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties (HBA DOC) CEO, Holly Fraccaro at (919) 265-9350 (m), who serves as the managing director, or make an online financial contribution at HBA DOC Foundation.