Impact Stories

Apprenticeships Empower Youth to Grow and Achieve!

Photo Credit: Family Harvest Farm

When Jacob, 21 years old, joined our Apprenticeship program to work at Family Harvest Farm in Pittsburgh, CA, he wasn’t sure that learning about the benefits of regenerative agriculture, propagating seeds, planting and harvesting crops was his jam. But First Place for Youth staff encouraged him to persevere, saying that an apprenticeship at Family Harvest Farm would be a great opportunity to build the skills needed for a variety of workplaces and professional opportunities. 

A year later, Jacob says that working at Family Harvest Farm helped him form genuine connections with his coworkers and supervisor and sharpen some important transferable skills—like how to work collaboratively with others and resolve interpersonal conflicts.  

“The program gave me a chance to grow as a person,” Jacob said. “Before, I didn’t like talking to anyone else, but the program honestly helped me a lot. I’m more confident talking to other people now.”  

First Place directly partners with employers and educational institutions in each county service area to empower young people with on-the-job training, linked learning, and networking opportunities in high-growth industries. Youth enrolled in the Apprenticeship program receive one-on-one support to explore their interests and identify career pathways in fields like Construction, Health Care, Information Technology, Transportation, Manufacturing, and Energy. Each apprenticeship is a paid work experience uniquely suited to the individual participant’s needs, strengths, goals, and challenges.  

After his apprenticeship ended, Jacob used the skills he gained to jumpstart his career as a future construction professional or an electrician. This past February, Jacob enrolled in a pre-apprenticeship with Pittsburgh contractor, Future Build, to earn his certificate in solar theory and installation, energy, and the construction trades.

Good luck Jacob on your path to becoming a future construction professional—we’re rooting for you! 

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