March 31, 2022

IPS is building a new carpentry partnership to connect students to future jobs

The new program will allow an Arsenal Technical High schooler an opportunity to earn an entry-level carpentry certification. - (Lindsey Erdody/WFYI)

The new program will allow an Arsenal Technical High schooler an opportunity to earn an entry-level carpentry certification.

(Lindsey Erdody/WFYI)

One lucky high schooler in Indianapolis could be a step closer to starting a carpentry career right after graduation.

The new State Earn and Learn partnership between Indianapolis Public Schools, Pepper Construction and the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters will allow an Arsenal Technical High schooler an opportunity to earn an entry-level carpentry certification.

This district is currently conducting interviews to decide which sophomore or junior will be selected to participate in the program, which includes on-the-job work experience that begins this summer. The student will continue the program through their senior year and earn up to 14 college credits towards a carpenter apprenticeship and their certification.

The goal is to prepare them for an IKORCC’s apprenticeship program immediately after high school and help prepare them for finding employment.

Pepper Construction project manager Anthony White said the student will learn things like safety measures and quality control in their first year. Then as the student becomes more advanced in their construction trades class — building walls and hanging doors — then they’ll also learn similar skills on the job site. During their senior year, power tools will be used.

White said this program will allow students to apply what they learned in school and work with professional contractors.

“This ultimately helps alleviate the issue of, as soon as you're crossing the stage and grabbing the diploma, the what do I do now conversation.”

White said the first cohort is limited to one student since it’s a new program. But he hopes to increase the number of participants next year and have the selected student this year mentor next year’s cohort.

Contact WFYI education reporter Elizabeth Gabriel at egabriel@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @_elizabethgabs.

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