Pre-apprenticeship programs are gaining in popularity as careers in construction are booming. As word gets out that construction jobs offer a debt-free career path with high wages and loads of fulfillment, apprenticeship programs are becoming more competitive. This, coupled with the lack of high school construction programs, has led many students to ask, “What now?” A quality pre-apprenticeship program could be the answer.

Pre-apprenticeship programs allow participants to gain hands-on experience, build credentials and level up skills. All pre-apprenticeship programs use state-approved curriculum and work with registered apprenticeship programs to give students a leg up in gaining entry to an apprenticeship program. Some programs even offer graduates help in finding a job or further training. Let’s take a closer look at three quality pre-apprenticeship programs in Oregon.

Constructing Hope

Constructing Hope is a Portland-based nonprofit that offers a ten-week, no-cost, construction pre-apprenticeship program for adults. The mission of Constructing Hope is to rebuild the lives of people in our community by encouraging self-sufficiency through skills training and education in the construction industry. They specialize in supporting people coming from the criminal justice system. The program goes beyond workforce training, by providing students with mentorship, social services, job placement, and expungement services. And if you’re still in high school, check out their month-long youth summer program. To learn more about Constructing Hope, visit their website at

Portland YouthBuilders

Portland YouthBuilders (PYB) changes young people’s lives with job-training and wrap-around services, including two BOLI-approved pre-apprenticeship programs. PYB’s adult program, Bridge to Construction (18-26 year olds), gives participants relevant commercial construction experience and support with long-term career plans. Program participants walk away with knowledge of how to join the construction industry and resources to be a success, which include assistance with transportation, tools, work clothes and financial literacy courses. Youth participants (17-24) earn their high school diploma or GED by completing the YouthBuild program. Mentorship and social services are integrated into PYB’s programming and are integral to their success. Learn more about Portland YouthBuilders by visiting their website at

71Five VoTech

71Five VoTech is a career exploration and certified pre-apprenticeship program. They operate in Medford and Grants Pass. All learning is hands-on, project-based and incorporates vital life skills training. The VoTech program is a 12-week program with the first six weeks serving as career exploration and the second six weeks concentrating on a career path. Options include construction and woodworking, electrical, welding, fabrication, and auto repair. In some cases students can receive high school credit for completing the program. The VoTech team believes in mentorship and full wrap-around services. Limited transitional housing is available for eligible program participants. Check out the 71Five website to learn more:

Translate »