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Connecting high school students to construction and trades

Posted: Thursday, Mar 21, 2024
 HS Pre-App 2024 student heavy equipment
A high school student listens to an instructor as she learns to operate a piece of heavy equipment during North Idaho College Workforce Training Center’s 2023 Pre-Apprenticeship program for high schoolers. Registration is now open for the 2024 Construction and Trades Pre-Apprenticeship program for high school students.

North Idaho College Workforce Training Center is offering high school students the opportunity to participate this summer in a Construction and Trades Pre-Apprenticeship program.

In its second year, this program takes place June 10 to June 28 and allows high schoolers an opportunity to dive into construction and trades and explore potential career paths they may wish to pursue after high school.

Students will gain hands-on experience in Heavy Equipment, Construction, HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical. They will learn skills like blueprint reading, measurement, power tool use, and materials handling and earn certifications like OSHA 10 and First Aid/CPR.

“Not only does this let high school students see which trade is the best for them, the certificates they earn will give them a head start and make them more valuable to employers,” said Brenda Hamilton, NIC Workforce Training Center Apprenticeship Programs manager. “They’ll come out of the program and hit the ground running.”

The Construction and Trades Pre-Apprenticeship program positions students to be hired by employers to continue their training as apprentices. Apprenticeship teaches the skills of a trade through a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction, a system that benefits both the employer and employee. Employers know they have a proven commodity worth investing in – an employee specifically trained to meet the needs of their business. Employees can work as they take classes that fit their schedule, and they are on a clear path to success. Apprentices typically will finish with journeyman credentials, which translates into substantially higher wages.

The three-week pre-apprenticeship program culminates with a Resume Writing Workshop and Job Fair on June 28.

“Employers will be there ready to hire new apprentices, knowing that everyone who went through the pre-apprenticeship program is making an informed decision,” said Colleen Hoffman, NIC Customized Training and Project manager. “Employers will know these students mean business.”

There is funding available that will pay for 100 percent of the $500 program for those who complete the application and are accepted. Registration is open, with 12 spots available. Early registration is encouraged.

A similar program for adults – CORE: Pre-Apprenticeship Exploration – is also being offered.

For more information about either of these pre-apprenticeship programs, visit or call the NIC Workforce Training Center at (208) 769-3333.

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