| Program: || Project Apprentices for a Positive Tomorrow, Miami, FL |
| Contact(s): || Dr. Gustavo Roig, Program Director (305) 348-3700 |
| Purpose: || To provide a career alternative for "at-risk" students with disciplinary problems |
Project Apprentices for a Positive Tomorrow (Project APT) began in 1996 as a joint effort by Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the College of Engineering at Florida International University and the Association of Building Contractors, Inc. of America. Project APT provides knowledge of basic residential wiring for "at-risk" students and offers them a potential career path after graduation. Upon completing this course, students are guaranteed jobs by local construction firms. To graduate from this program, however, students must graduate from high school, pass a drug test, avoid criminal activity and obtain a driver's license.
Participants in Project APT are high school students at risk of dropping out of school. Most students are minorities and many come from poor households. Students are referred to the program through guidance counselors. The promise of employment increases student interest in this program. Project APT is a 180 hour course in which students receive two hours of instruction every day of the week for two semesters. This course informs students about basic electrical wiring, safety issues and national safety codes. Students are shown how to use all tools associated with electrical work and perform actual hands-on wiring at the simulated house where they receive instruction. Upon completion of this course, students receive a complete set of professional tools. They are also offered jobs as apprentice electricians with local contracting firms where they continue their training towards certification as a professional electrician.
Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments
In its three years of operation, Project APT has impacted over 40 at-risk, mostly minority students. The program hopes to train more students by adding courses in air conditioning repair, plumbing and masonry. Project APT not only benefits the community as a drug and crime prevention program, it also provides an opportunity for social mobility for the community's youth. Project APT coordinates with FLAME (Florida Action for Minorities in Engineering), which enhances the understanding of pre-college minority students in science, math, engineering and technology and VISION (Very Intensive Scientific Intercurricular On-site Education), which enhances educational training in science and mathematics at the high school level. In a community with high unemployment rates, these programs allow students to increase their educational attainment and job prospects. With the expectation of future benefits, students work hard to achieve their goals. Presented with a life away from drugs and crime, the students infuse the community with a sense of hope for the future.