Learn about our life-changing apprenticeships

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.

Through 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.

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 $10/hour with opportunities to receive a raise with each new session. 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.

How To Apply

If you are interested in one of our paid youth apprenticeships, we’d love to hear from you. Please email [email protected] to learn how to apply. Each year, there are three hiring rounds – spring, summer, and fall. When we are actively hiring you will see a link to the application on this webpage.

We serve youth who are between 16-19 years of age at the time of application. Participants must be eligible for free or reduced-price lunch or have a barrier to employment. Barriers to employment include but are not limited to students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), limited English proficiency, juvenile offenders and youth in diversion programs, youth with chemical dependency issues, or youth who are parenting. These are only guidelines. If you are not sure if you qualify, please apply.

Women, non-binary, and genderqueer youth are strongly encouraged to apply.

COVID-19 UPDATE: the apprenticeship program is operating in a hybrid model with youth attending in-person programming two days a week, and one day virtual learning.

Meet more of the youth in our programs
Learn more about how we’ve made a difference

Let’s Connect

Interested in our programs, boats, volunteering, or supporting youth in other creative ways?

Reach out today!