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Call for Applications!

Call for Applications!

Summer Careers Academy seeks 20 young adults and 15 employers to round out the second cohort of the “Building Our Future” skilled trades registered youth apprenticeship program.

Chapel Hill, NC: The Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties (HBADOC) Foundation, together with the entire Summer Careers Academy (SCA) Steering Committee, has opened applications for the “Building Our Future” (BOF) 2023 cohort. This registered youth apprenticeship program includes free in-classroom training and paid work experience over eight-weeks in the summer. All interested young adults (ages 16-24) and interested employers with jobs in the skilled trades are encouraged to apply now.

For Participants

For Employers

Complete the Student Interest Form

Deadline: Friday, February 10, 2023

Contact: Heather Kasey, (919) 357-2878 (m)

Complete the Employer Interest Form

Deadline: Friday, February 17, 2023

Contact: Katie Loovis, (984) 444-6855 (o) 

“Young adults who participate in ‘Building Our Future’ enter a fast-track to a high paying career in the skilled trades with zero college debt, and employers have a low-risk, high-reward experience tapping a new talent pool,” said Holly Fraccaro, Executive Director of the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties Foundation, Summer Careers Academy Steering Committee Member, and Managing Director of Building Our Future.


Participants receive a competitive salary, equipment, and support (food, transportation, and language services); 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 become prepared for immediate, full-time employment.

Employers enjoy access to a nontraditional talent pool; grow their workforce through a low-risk, high-reward program; and increase interest in and appreciation for the skilled trades as a dynamic profession with in-demand jobs that pay family-thriving wages.


Interested participants must be between the ages of 16 and 24 years old. No experience is required, but participants must be interested in learning about the skilled trades and available to attend all eight weeks of in-classroom and on-the-job commitments (only two excused absences permitted). Individuals who meet these requirements are encouraged to complete the Student Interest Form and contact Heather Kasey with questions. 

Interested employers must have job(s) in the skilled trades (especially carpentry, plumbing, electrical, HVAC-R, and masonry) with work in and/or near Orange County, NC; understand that the Pre-Apprentice will work a staggered, part-time schedule over the summer; are able to assign the Pre-Apprentice a Supervisor who is well-equipped to provide mentoring and training; and can commit to the three-step registration process. Employers who meet these requirements are encouraged to complete the Employer Interest Form and contact Katie Loovis with questions.  


Video about the Summer Careers Academy "Building Our Future" skilled trades career training program (produced 2022). 

Summer Careers Academy

The SCA is an innovative, eight-week career training model in Orange County, NC that connects residents, especially young adults (ages 16-24) who are underrepresented and underserved, with new skills and paid work experiences in compelling career pathways. The model is based on the successful employer-led Catawba Valley Community College Construction Careers Academy, which blends free in-classroom training and paid on-the-job work experience. 

What is unique about the SCA is the commitment to equity. The SCA is open to all (no experience required) and is specifically designed to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged in our community, including refugees, low-income students, and students of color. The program provides critical support services for participants to overcome any and all barriers to success. Participants receive a competitive “Learning Wage” salary ($12.56/hour, complimentary equipment and attire, and holistic support along the way (food, transportation, language, and career services). Participants who successfully complete the program are college and career-ready and receive a completion bonus taking their salary to the “Living Wage” ($16.60/hour).

The SCA is governed by a Steering Committee that operates according to the principles of Collective Impact and is made up of educators, employers, elected and senior government officials, and community activists. Active Steering Committee members include Kathi Breweur of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Shannon Braxton of Orange County Schools, Maryah Smith-Overman of Durham Technical Community College, Holly Fraccaro of the Home Builders Association of Durham, Orange, and Chatham Counties, Katie Loovis of The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Tai Huynh of Acta Solutions and the Chapel Hill Town Council, Deon Temne of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, Tony McKnight of ApprenticeshipNC, and James (Jim) Porto, Ph.D., who is the former Mayor of Carrboro.

"Building Our Future" Skilled Trades Program

The inaugural program of the SCA is focused on the skilled trades and is called “Building Our Future” (BOF). This is a new “Registered Youth Apprenticeship” program and the students, called “Pre-Apprentices,” receive free in-classroom learning and paid on-the-job work experience as well as complimentary equipment and critical support services (food, transportation, language, and career services). Pre-Apprentices who successfully complete the program earn academic credit, industry-recognized certificates (NCCER, OSHA-10, and CPR/First Aid), and are prepared for full time employment in construction occupations (carpentry, plumbing, electrical, masonry, and HVAC-R repair) or are college-ready and can continue to “earn and learn” through a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). The HBADOC Foundation serves as the managing director of BOF and works collaboratively with the SCA Steering Committee.


The inaugural BOF 2022 cohort included 15 diverse Pre-Apprentices, of whom seven had graduated from high school and eight were still in high school. A majority (80%) of the Pre-Apprentices reported through the pre-survey that they were not experienced in the skilled trades and fewer than half had ever taken a class in the skilled trades; worked or volunteered in the skilled trades; or had a parent, guardian, or mentor in the skilled trades. By the end of the program, a majority (87%) of Pre-Apprentices reported they are interested in a career in the skilled trades (6 strongly interested and 7 interested). Most importantly, 100% of Pre-Apprentices who started the program completed the program and 80% (12 of 15) earned the NC Registered Youth Apprenticeship Certificate.

There were 11 employers in the 2022 cohort who provided paid work experiences for the Pre-Apprentices. The inaugural cohort included BOLD Construction, Brown Brothers Plumbing and Heating, Bryant-Durham Electric, BuildSense, CARROLL, Green Horizon One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, Marcoplos Construction, Orange County Government, Piedmont Electric Cooperative, The Lundy Management Group, and the Town of Chapel Hill. These employers were diverse in size and sector with small, mid-size, and large enterprises from the public and private sectors. Of the employers who responded to the pre-survey (7), all agreed that they have a skilled trades talent pipeline challenge and are actively working to improve it. By the conclusion of the program, five employers made job offers to their Pre-Apprentice and four of those offers were accepted. 

Learn more about the Summer Careers Academy Class of 2022, read the 2021-2022 Year in Review, and watch the following video capturing the Graduation Celebration in honor of the inaugural BOF 2022 cohort. 

Video from the Summer Careers Academy Graduation Celebration in honor of the inaugural cohort of the "Building Our Future" skilled trades career training program on Friday, August 5, 2022 at Cedar Ridge High School in Orange County, NC. 


For questions, contact Katie Loovis, Summer Careers Academy Steering Committee Member, at (984) 444-6855.

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