Seattle Conservation Corps Recognized by State as Pre-Apprenticeship Preparation Program

Program for supporting adults experiencing homelessness can now move graduates into family-wage, union construction jobs

Seattle (December 18, 2018) – The Seattle Conservation Corps (SCC) has been designated an apprenticeship preparation program by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Operated by the Seattle Parks and Recreation, SCC is a yearlong paid work training program for adults experiencing homelessness. Now, as an official pre-apprenticeship preparation program, SCC can connect graduates with career pathways to many of the local trade unions.

“Tackling our region’s affordability crisis means we must build pathways to opportunity and good jobs,” said Mayor Durkan. “The Seattle Conservation Corps’ new apprenticeship designation will help ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors have the chance to be part of Seattle’s world-class workforce, while remaining right here in the city we know and love.”

SCC is a Seattle Parks and Recreation employment program that employs adults experiencing homelessness with full time work as they learn skills and gain experiences in public works projects. The Seattle Conservation Corps serves more than 75 adults experiencing homelessness every year, all of whom will now be better prepared for family wage jobs in Seattle.

During their year of paid training, SCC members learn skills while Conservation Corps staff help with case management, finding stable housing, and support their transition to living wage jobs. The SCC covers 75 percent of its costs both through grants and by doing work for City departments.

“Seattle Conservation Corps is one of the few pre-apprenticeship programs that provides a living wage job during training; removing barriers on the path to apprenticeship,” said James Owens, Apprenticeship Coordinator for the Iron Workers Union.

“SCC has been an example of excellence for decades, working to better the lives of those experiencing homelessness and giving them the tools to re-enter the workforce,” said Christopher Williams, Interim Superintendent for Seattle Parks and Recreation. “Now as a pre-apprenticeship program, we are able to take these successes even farther”.

“As a recognized program, SCC will give its graduates prioritized access to public construction projects, which sets them on a path to union jobs that come with steady work, good pay and benefits to support a family. For an individual who was once homeless, this can be a truly life-changing opportunity,” said Calvin W. Goings, department director for Finance and Administrative Services, which houses the City’s purchasing and contracting functions.

Apprenticeship preparation programs are education-based preparatory programs that focus on educating and training students to qualify for entry into apprenticeship programs. The SCC accepts applicants several times each year. For more information about this program please visit this web page.

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