Here’s a chance to learn a skilled trade in Tacoma and earn your GED

Applications are now being taken for the next round of Tacoma Goodwill’s YouthBuild program.
Applications are now being taken for the next round of Tacoma Goodwill’s YouthBuild program. Goodwill of the Olympics & Rainier Region

Tacoma Goodwill’s YouthBuild is set to distribute 44 scholarships to a construction-training program in April.

There’s still time to apply.

The program offers free construction training along with a chance for participants ages 18 to 24 to earn their GED. The bulk of the training funding comes from U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

This week, Sound Transit is being recognized for donating a $50,000 indoor training lab to the program.

According to Goodwill’s news release: “Thanks to Sound Transit, our new 4,000-square-foot indoor construction lab at Goodwill’s regional headquarters includes separate kitchen and bathroom modules where students can learn cabinet installation, flooring, plumbing and window installation.

“Also within the lab is a 300-square-foot house and additional structure to work on framing, siding, Sheetrock, insulation, roofing and lighting.”

A year ago, it was reported that nearly a quarter of the skilled-jobs workforce is set to retire over the next decade.

Goodwill notes that the continuing worker shortage in the construction industry has led to entry-level positions in the field now starting at $20 to $25 an hour, with opportunities for quick advancement.

How to apply

Call: Michaela Woodmansee, YouthBuild outreach and enrollment coordinator at Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region: 253-254-4959

Email: youthbuild@goodwillwa.org

Apply online: www.goodwillwa.org/training/programs/construction/

Information sessions: 2 p.m. each Tuesday in the lobby of the Reach Center, 714 S. 27th St., Tacoma.

Extra: The Reach Center also offers information on Summer Jobs 253 and will host a free college fair Friday (March 22) from 2 to 5 p.m. Participating colleges include Pierce Community College, Pacific Lutheran University, and the University of Washington Tacoma.