Pasco County Schools and CareerSource Pasco Hernando have partnered to create a Youth Summer Trades program. During the last three weeks of the program, students took multiple trips to construction sites throughout the school district, where they worked side-by-side with campus facility teams and APG Electric. The students performed tasks, such as digging trenches, wiring portables, assisting the maintenance team with various projects, including installing pvc pipes and more. The onsite manager of APG and instructor, Wayne Mazza, were extremely impressed with the diligence and determination of the students' desire to perform each task presented. In addition, APG Electric conducted interviews offering two students an opportunity for an apprenticeship with their company with a starting wage of $13 an hour.
“The first annual Summer Trades program was a great opportunity for our students to become more marketable in the labor force. During the program, they were able to gain practical experience and an opportunity to obtain industry certification,” expressed Dr. Keiva Wiley, Director of Career and Technical Education. The 4-week program provided 10 Pasco County students with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the trades. During the first week, students received their OSHA 10 Certification, and safety instructions on how to conduct themselves on the jobsite.
The students all expressed their enjoyment and enthusiasm of the Summer Trades program, and if presented with the opportunity, would participate again. “Partnerships like the Pasco Youth Summer Trades program are exactly what our district and community need to do to prepare our students for success in life, whether they enter the workforce with industry certification directly after high school, join the military, or go on to pursue a college degree,” said Kurt Browning, Superintendent of schools. As a result of the program, two students have requested a transfer to Pasco High School in order to continue instruction under Mr. Mazza’s electrical course for their senior year. The Summer Trades program provided Pasco County students an opportunity to gain valuable experience within the trades to help encourage students to find their passion and a career path after graduation. CareerSource Pasco Hernando and Pasco County Schools are excited for possible opportunities for community partnership in the near future.