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Apprenticeship Program

The apprenticeship program provides paid job training to underserved youth, helping them build the skills to succeed in work, school, and life.  Three days each week, apprentices work as part of a team toward a common goal- building a boat. Through the process, youth learn and develop social and emotional skills such as communication, self-management, and critical problem-solving, as well as develop the skills and work history necessary to land them quality jobs or educational opportunities upon graduation.

Summer 2024 Apprenticeship Applications have now closed.


About the Apprenticeship

One of the biggest challenges to entry-level employment for low-income or youth facing a barrier to employment is a lack of opportunity, access, or quality work experience. Our paid apprenticeship program is specifically designed to provide young people with the skills and work history necessary to land them quality jobs or educational opportunities upon graduation.

An apprenticeship lasts 3-12 months (initial commitment is one session). Each cohort or session lasts 3-4 months, and youth can be hired for consecutive cohorts, with a total of 15 months of employment. Pay starts at $15/hour with opportunities to receive a raise with each new session. 

Throughout our program, youth develop:

  • Technical skills and a work history that are transferable to a wide range of industries such as carpentry, mechanics, or welding.

  • Social and emotional skills, which research shows are considered essential to future success.

  • Career and future-readiness skills via field trips to work sites and colleges, interview practice and resume writing, and help with future financial and goal planning.

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A Capstone to Remember

Each apprentice’s journey concludes with a capstone boat launch; participants have an opportunity to test the product of their hard work by paddling the boats they made on some of Minnesota’s most beautiful lakes and rivers. Additionally, youth are eligible and encouraged to participate in a free three- or five-day wilderness experience on either the St. Croix River or in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Upon graduation from the program, youth may join Urban Boatbuilders’ alumni program to receive additional support in seeking new employment, enrolling in a trade program, or applying to college or other form of higher education.

Since starting at Urban Boatbuilders, I've had the chance to apply my ambitions to something productive and something I've always had a passion for. This has helped me grow and learn more about myself that I thought it ever would. 

-Urban Boatbuilders Apprentice

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