ARLINGTON — Snohomish County has identified the need to bolster its industrial ranks, and Arlington will serve as a site to get area teens involved.
Workforce Snohomish is partnering with the Snohomish County Labor Council and other organizations to connect 16- to 18-year-olds with a dozen local agencies in the construction and advanced manufacturing fields.
The Arlington Municipal Airport offices at 18204 59th Dr. NE will host the free “Constructing Futures” program from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 17-20 to provide young people with hands-on opportunities to test-drive different types of construction and manufacturing jobs.
Exhibitors will teach transferable skills to youths in real-life work environments such as driving a truck or using an engineering simulator.
Stanwood Mayor Leonard Kelley, who serves as secretary/treasurer of the labor council, met with Erin Monroe, executive director of Workforce Snohomish, earlier this year about connecting area teens who are entering the workforce with union skills training programs and personnel who are willing to share their knowledge.
“The idea came from bits and pieces I’d heard all over, from the state legislature to Economic Alliance of Snohomish County,” Kelley said. “As our county grows, so too does the demand for these types of jobs. Especially since college is not for everybody, we need to show kids how they can live a decent life working in the trades.”
Kelley explained that the program’s goal is to recruit 40 students, who will then be split into groups of eight, and rotated through a variety of job fields. Monroe added that the program will cover the soft skills of employment, such as time-keeping and work policies, as well as safety procedures, continued education and apprenticeship programs.
“These are the sorts of skills that we hear from employers all the time that they need more of from their new employees,” Monroe said. “It also gives the kids a chance to try out a wide range of possibilities, to see which ones might be for them.”
Those between the ages of 16 and 18 can register online at www.workforcesnohomish.org/advance/cfutures, and will receive certificates of completion after taking part in all four days.
Anyone interested in helping or donating to this or future programs should contact Workforce Snohomish by phone at 425-921-3442 or online at www.workforcesnohomish.org/company/staff.