Youth Guidance launches Pre-Apprenticeship program

news release

This fall, Indian River County youth ages 16-24 will have the opportunity to explore a career in Welding, Carpentry, HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing – for free! The Youth Guidance Pre-Apprenticeship program is the first of its kind in Indian River County. It covers basic tools and materials while offering an in-depth overview of each trade. 

Students will participate in a proven curriculum from Florida Training Services. The curriculum emphasizes the importance of succeeding in school while teaching students the qualifications and skills they need to secure a meaningful career within the trades.

The program will begin on October 12th. Classes will take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at United Way of Indian River County. Students will engage in textbook learning as well as hands-on activities with basic hand tools. Once a month on Saturday, Youth Guidance will transport students to a trade facility in Fort Pierce. Here the students will learn how to weld, drive a forklift, and complete projects that utilize heavy machinery.

Upon successful completion of the eight-month program, students will obtain six certifications including the OSHA certificate, First Aid and CPR certificate, High Reach Safety Training certificate, Forklift Safety Training certificate, National Center for Construction Education Research certificate (NCCER), and the Florida Department of Education Pre-Apprenticeship Completion certificate.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be offering this program for young adults here in Indian River County,” said Executive Director Phil Barnes. “We are pleased to have the full support of the Indian River County School District, and United Way has graciously opened their doors to give us a space for the classroom learning portion.”

“What we are trying to do is help our young people with limited resources obtain meaningful careers within the trades while closing a gap that exists in our workforce, both locally and nationally,” Barnes continued.

The Youth Guidance Pre-Apprenticeship program is valued at over $1,000 per student. However, it is being made available free of charge thanks to generous donations from Impact 100 of Indian River County, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and other individual donors.

There are still several spots open for the program but space is limited! Please visit to download the pre-apprenticeship application or contact Phil Barnes at (772) 492-3933 for more information.

Youth Guidance is a local nonprofit that provides mentoring serves to children ages 5-18 with limited resources in Indian River County. With direction from our trained staff, mentors and volunteers, these children can experience a path toward a brighter future. Programs are all free and children are provided with a nutritious meal before programs.

To learn more about Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy, become a mentor, or to volunteer, please call 772-492-3933 or visit us at

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