In late 2018, we signed a lease for the old workshop at the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy, in Riviera Beach. We are expanding our current job training program to include, for the first time, a pre-apprentice program, where students receive training in carpentry and wood tools, boat handling and trailering, sanding, polishing and detailing of a hull. They learn about composites, boat maintenance, terminology and basic hand tools. To help students grow creatively, the shop is also open to students who want to work on a school or science fair project. They will learn from FFA staff, volunteers, business partners and young adult mentors recruited from the community. They can return to area elementary schools and teach our younger students, establishing their roles as leaders. These students can also serve as FFA camp counselors, and they can work with our community partners through our on-the-job training component. By spring break, many of these students will be able to see the fruits of their labor. Qualified students can receive their boating safety, lifeguarding, babysitting and/or CPR certifications or Pre-Apprentice Completion Certificate.
FFA instructors and local business professionals will provide school- and community-based programming to prepare students for employment, assess students’ skills and interests, develop life skills and assist students with job readiness and preparation skills. In April, they will provide job searching, coaching and placement at jobs, apprenticeships and internships and provide on-the-job support. All students will be encouraged to reflect on their positive experiences and strengths to build an effective resume, then submit it to prospective employers. The FFA will continue to help place students in jobs for the summer.