Photo by Bill Curtsinger

A solution for youth interns proposed


Dear Marine Trades folks,
Over the years there has been varying degrees of success in getting youth into the trades through some kind of internship opportunity.  And one of the biggest sticking points has been serving youth under the age of 18 and insurance liability.  I have found a possible solution I want to share and invite you to consider being a host for a youth internship through our program called Real World Readiness (RWR).
Three questions:
  1. Are you interested in being a business who could provide an internship at some point in this pilot year?
  2. Would you be willing to sign a letter of partnership for the grant application? And like most grants, we are on a tight timeline.  If yes, please let me know ASAP. The grant is due next Wednesday and we are pulling all the final pieces together now.
  3. What other questions do you have?  I am sure there are many. I will provide a bit more information that may help you understand a bit more. And please understand that there may be things we won’t know until we start the program.
Originally RWR was developed as a partnership with Jeff. Co. Juvenile Services.  However, this past spring, we convened a task force of community members from youth serving organizations to examine and re-iterate the program.
We are currently seeking funding from Career Connect Washington to implement this next phase of RWR which over the course of the next year could provide internship opportunities for upto 14 youth.  Youth (ages 14-18) could be referred by any youth serving organization including schools and juvenile services.  The criteria for eligibility & referral to this program is one of the following:
  • Need for credit recovery in order to graduate high school
  • Low income
  • Low school attendance
  • Formerly incarcerated
  • Foster care
  • Homeless
  • Teen parent
The program has two phases:
Phase 1 – Job Readiness training at the NWMC (80 hours) & training for business owners
Phase 2 – Internship in a local marine trades business (60 OR 120 hours)… and when this time is spent would be up to each business owner and the youth (s) in the internship.  It does need to be done within approximately three months to allow other youth to move into  internship opportunities.  Currently, I think each business would host between 1-2 youth for each session.  And it may be that some businesses are not available in one session and so we work with a different one.  
Both of these phases are supported by a partnership with Big Picture Learning through its B-Unbound program .  In phase two we will incorporate Big Picture’s  Harbor Freight Fellowships.  It is through the B-Unbound program that Big Picture Learning has the liability and workers compensation for the students as a participant in the program. 
What do the youth do when they are with you?  That would really depend upon the scope of work that your business is doing and what you determine would be appropriate and hopefully valuable for you and them.  Each season will have its different work and that is ok.  This is about preparing the youth with an experience to then be able to determine what he/she/they are interested in doing and what training they need to pursue that path.
If we get the funding and are able to hire the staff we need to implement, we will begin our first cohort and job readiness training in October.  The internships with the trades would start in January and cycle every three months until September 2023.
I am really excited about this opportunity to partner in service of the youth in our community.   Please let me know if you have any questions as your questions will undoubtedly uncover many of the details yet to be uncovered.
Thanks for considering and standing by!

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