The Summer Careers Academy is Officially Launched
The Summer Careers Academy is Officially Launched
All Local Youth and Young Adults are Invited to Apply for the Inaugural Program Focused on the Skilled Construction Trades, called “Building Our Future”
Chapel Hill, NC: A diverse coalition of educators, employers, governmental officials, and experts are pleased to announce the launch of the Summer Careers Academy, a new eight-week career training program that takes place in the summer and connects local youth and young adults (ages 16-24) with new skills and paid work experiences in compelling career pathways.
Applications are now open for the inaugural Summer Careers Academy program, which is a registered youth apprenticeship program (also known as a pre-apprenticeship program) in the skilled construction trades, called “Building Our Future.”
“The Summer Careers Academy is a game-changer for our local youth and young adults,” said Katie Loovis, an executive at The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro and a Summer Careers Academy Steering Committee Member. “This is a proven model, fit for our region’s purposes, and designed to help fast track participants to immediate employment in high paying careers.”
Summer Careers Academy
The Summer Careers Academy is a low-cost, high-performance, employer-led model based on the successful Catawba Valley Community College Construction Careers Academy and adapted for the Triangle region. The Summer Careers Academy makes it possible for students to “earn while they learn,” meaning they will receive complimentary in-classroom training while also enjoying paid work experiences during the summer in a promising career pathway earning a competitive “Learning Wage” ($12/hour). Students who successfully complete the program earn high school credit and industry-recognized credentials as well as college prior learning credit and access to apprenticeships and college scholarships.
“The vision for the Summer Careers Academy is to focus initially on the skilled construction trades and then expand the Summer Careers Academy model in subsequent years to other high demand industries, such as Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and Healthcare, said Deon Temne, Chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education and Summer Careers Academy Steering Committee Member.
Building Our Future
“Building Our Future” is the inaugural program of the Summer Careers Academy and is applying the eight-week career training model to the skilled construction trades. Building Our Future is using the industry-recognized and respected National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) core construction curriculum, which prepares students for careers in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, masonry, and HVAC-R repair (i.e., heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration).
Building Our Future Employers
Employers from all sectors and of all sizes have career opportunities in the construction trades. More than fifty employers advised the Summer Careers Academy Steering Committee on the design of the program, and more than a dozen employers have already committed to hire students in the inaugural summer 2022 cohort, including:
- Bold Construction
- Bryant-Durham Electric
- Carrboro Plumbing, Inc.
- Habitat for Humanity of Orange County
- JD Service Now
- Lundy Management Group
- Marcoplos Construction
- NC Drainage
- Orange County Government
- Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of NC, Inc. (PHCC of NC)
- Samet Corporation
- Seegars Fence Company
- Town of Chapel Hill
“A career in the construction trades offer salaries ranging from $55,000 to $61,000 and, through ‘Building Our Future,’ we offer local youth and young adults a path directly to these careers with zero traditional student loan debt,” said Holly Fraccaro, CEO of the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties, Summer Careers Academy Steering Committee member, and managing director of Building Our Future.
Building Our Future Students
Applications are now open for “Building Our Future” and all local youth and young adults (ages 16-24) are invited to apply. No prior experience required. The program administrators are committed to access, equity, and success, and have specially-designed the program to meet the needs of participants from refugee and migrant families as well as low income students and students of color. The program has a built-in support system to ensure a level playing field for all participants, including food, transportation, and language services.
“The Summer Careers Academy is a fast-track to a great career and is designed with supports along the way to help all students be successful, including language, transportation, and food services,” Kathi Breweur, Career and Technical Education Director at Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and Summer Careers Academy Steering Committee member.
Students who enroll in Building Our Future will receive a competitive salary, support (food, transportation, and language services), and a complimentary toolbelt and tools. Those who complete the program earn high school credit and industry-recognized credentials (NCCER, OSHA-10, CPR/First Aid) as well as college prior learning credit and access to apprenticeships and college scholarships, and are prepared for immediate, full-time employment.
“Orange County Living Wage fully endorses the Summer Careers Academy $12 per hour Learning Wage,” said Susan Romaine, Co-Founder of Orange County Living Wage and Carrboro Town Council Member. “Not everyone can afford an unpaid internship and many students must contribute to family expenses. We appreciate the Summer Careers Academy and their employers for providing our local youth and young adults with meaningful opportunities to learn and earn.”
The Building Our Future staff members are actively recruiting students and employers for the 2022 cohort. There are several upcoming recruitment sessions, including Construction Career Fairs on March 5 and March 11 and a Parent/Student Information Night on March 23. The application period will close later in March. Throughout April, staff will coordinate interviews between the students and employers, and facilitate the matches. In May, the Summer Careers Academy will issue an announcement introducing the inaugural cohort.
Building Our Future programming will begin on June 14 and conclude on August 5. The students will receive in-classroom training the first week of the program and then will work and learn for the subsequent seven weeks (working on job sites every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and back in the classroom to reinforce their learning every Monday and Friday).
On Tuesday, February 22, 2022, the Summer Careers Academy Steering Committee hosted the Summer Careers Academy Launch Event by zoom (watch the video and review the slides) to introduce the program and partners, and give the community an opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback, and get involved.
The event featured remarks from leaders of several important organizations, including:
- Chair of The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Vakesia Graves;
- Chair of the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties, Lee Bowman;
- Chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, Deon Temne;
- Chair of the Orange County Schools Board of Education, Carrie Doyle;
- Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, Renee Price;
- Chair of the NC Education and Workforce Innovation Commission, Steve Griffin;
- President of Durham Technical Community College, JB Buxton;
- Town Council Member of the Chapel Hill Town Council, Tai Huynh;
- Town Council Member of the Carrboro Town Council, Susan Romaine;
- Director of the Regional Partnership Workforce Development Board, Tammy Wall;
- Owner of Marcoplos Construction and former Orange County Commissioner, Mark Marcoplos; and
- Leaders from ApprenticeshipNC, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, and Orange County Schools.
“The Summer Careers Academy will deliver on our statewide mission to align public schools with business and industry and foster innovation in education to help more students graduate career and college ready,” Steve Griffin, President of the Insurance People of North Carolina and Chair of the NC Education and Workforce Innovation Commission. “I believe we will learn a lot from the Summer Careers Academy and our Commission is excited to support this important work.”
There is still time to get involved. All interested parties should visit www.SummerCareersAcademy.com to learn more.
- Interested students should complete the Student Interest Form, contact Patricia Harris with questions at 919-545-4133 (cell), and attend an upcoming Construction Career Fair and the Student/Parent Informational Session (all events listed here).
- Interested employers should review the website to learn more and contact Heather Kasey to discuss your needs and the program requirements at 919-357-2878 (cell).
- Interested funders of Building Our Future should contact Holly Fraccaro, to discuss partnership opportunities for cash and in-kind contributions, at 919-265-9350 (cell).
- Interested funders of the Summer Careers Academy should contact Katie Loovis, to discuss how to best sustain, replicate, broaden, and scale the Summer Careers Academy to other industries and counties, at 919-696-0781 (cell).
“As a son of refugees, I am deeply familiar with how valuable yet rare a life changing opportunity like the Summer Careers Academy is,” said Tai Huynh, Chapel Hill Town Council Member and Summer Careers Academy Steering Committee Member. “Please help us spread the word to local youth and young adults who will benefit from the Summer Careers Academy - we are ready to help them build the life of their dreams!”
Summer Careers Academy: The Summer Careers Academy is a new eight week summer career training program that connects local learners (ages 16-24) with new skills and paid work experiences in compelling career pathways. The inaugural program (2022) is launching in Orange County, NC with a focus on the skilled trades and the vision is to expand to other industries (i.e., Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and Healthcare) and counties in subsequent years. The Summer Careers Academy is an employer-led, public-private partnership guided by a diverse Steering Committee with members operating according to the principles of Collective Impact. For questions, please contact Katie Loovis, Summer Careers Academy Steering Committee Member and Vice President for External Affairs, The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro, at (919) 696-0781 (cell).
Building Our Future: Building Our Future is the inaugural program of the Summer Careers Academy and is a registered youth apprenticeship program (aka, pre-apprenticeship) focused on the skilled construction trades. The program uses the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) core construction curriculum, which prepares students for careers in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, masonry, and HVAC-R repair. Building Our Future is powered by the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties (HBA). For questions, contact HBA Summer Careers Academy Program Coordinator, Heather Kasey at (919) 357-2878 (cell).
Contact: Reporter inquiries can be addressed to Katie Loovis, Vice President for External Affairs, The Chamber For a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro, at (919) 696-0781 (cell)