PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - A new paid apprenticeship program is helping Philadelphia high school students get a job after graduation.
2015 South Philly High grad Derek Beaudry says being one of the first is better than being stuck where he was.
"Not everybody's going to college and as far as trades go there's always going to be a need."
Operations Executive Director Robert Hunter says the Philadelphia School District like many businesses and homeowners was losing certified maintenance and technically experts through retirement and having a difficult time hiring new experienced trade mechanics. That's why they reached back and improved a trial program that was dropped 25 years ago.
A new partnership with union SEIU Local 32BJ is not only getting them the employees they need, but they have teachers to take their career technical education graduates to the next level.
"We're still hiring tradesman to come in, but in the event we're not able to get the people we need we'll have our own. It's kind of a win-win," Operations Executive Director Robert Hunter said.
There is no age limit for applicants. It is a four year program that upon completion and certification the six current apprentices will work at least two years with the Philadelphia School District. They will start at $50,000 a year with full benefits. New applicants will be taken in May.
For more information, please visit the School District of Philadelphia's Facebook page.