ESCEO Building Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program Growing

CANFIELD, Ohio – This school year, more than 500 students throughout the region are taking courses in the building trades that can lead to direct entry into apprenticeships after high school.

According to the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio (ESCEO), formerly the Mahoning County ESC, there are now 15 schools in the region participating in the program, an increase from 10 schools last year.

In the past two years, nearly 100 students have graduated from high school while meeting the qualifications for an Ohio State Apprenticeship Council Recognized Pre-Apprenticeship Program Certificate of Completion through the Building Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program of the ESCEO.

The program began in 2019, when the ESCEO career counselors partnered with the Building Trades Association to bring awareness and understanding about the trades back to the classrooms. Along with the Mahoning Valley Skilled Trades Expo, thousands of students from more than 50 school districts explore different trades using interactive exhibits.

After getting the students interested, the program partnered with the Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania and the Ohio Carpenters’ Joint Apprenticeship to give the students a program introducing them to the building trades, teaching tool use, soft skills and safety procedures.

During the 2021-22 school year, 324 students in grades nine through 12 enrolled in the Building Trades Pre-Apprenticeship program from 10 school districts, and 94 completed the program, earning a pre-apprenticeship certificate and industry-recognized credential seal in addition to their diploma. After graduation, 54 seniors declared entry into the Building Trades.

With more than 500 students enrolled in the two-year program, more than 100 students are expected to complete it this school year.

Pictured at top: Students watch a demonstration during the 2022 Mahoning Valley Skilled Trades Expo.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.