Pre-Apprenticeship Programs Introduce Students To Construction

The School District of Palm Beach County has partnered with Florida Training Services to provide pre-apprenticeship programs that introduce students to the construction trades by using a multi-trade curriculum that includes aspects of plumbing, HVAC, carpentry and electrical.

The location of the program is the historic West Tech campus in Belle Glade.

On June 24, the West Tech Vocational Program held its first graduation ceremony since the doors were closed 16 years ago. Twenty adult students were presented with certificates from the Florida Department of Education in the pre-apprenticeship multi-trade construction area.

All students received the following: the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certification card; first aid, CPR and AED certification; OSHA 10 certification; forklift certification; scissor lift training; and boom lift training

Area 3 Superintendent Dr. Matthew Shoemaker served as master of ceremonies, while speakers included Assistant Superintendent Dr. Joseph Lee, School Board Member Marcia Andrews, Dr. Jane Bravo of the Department of Adult and Community Education, and Jeff McGinley and Jimmie Major of Florida Training Services.

Registration for next year classes will begin in mid-August. Classes offered next year will be trade specific and will include electrical, HVAC, welding and another multi-trade class for those students undecided about which trade they would like to pursue. Tuition is $90, and financial aid is available for students who qualify. Call (561) 744-7931 for more information.

Classes are Monday through Thursday from 6 to 9:30 p.m., based on a two-day schedule for students (Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday). Upon successful completion, students apply for Apprenticeship Trade School. If accepted, tuition is free and students are employed in their preferred vocation.

For more information, contact the West Tech front office at or (561) 996-4900.

ABOVE: Officials join West Tech students at the graduation ceremony.