The Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region recently received a $435,000 grant from the Philadelphia School Partnership to provide vocational training to Philadelphia high school students. Beginning in January 2018, seniors from Philadelphia public, charter, and Catholic high schools will have the opportunity to attend FTI full time, earning six industry certifications and 30 college credits. The grant expands FTI’s existing Vocational Intern Partnership (VIP) program from one day per week to a four-day immersive program. In addition to supporting a strong workforce, these programs dramatically increase the number of minority students in FTI apprenticeship programs. Mayor Jim Kenney, who attended the press conference to mark the announcement said, “Career and technical education programs like VIP are now more important than ever as we find alternatives to the traditional four-year college and the inherent debt that comes with it. CTE programs provide students with both valuable trade and life skills, as well as transferable college credits and industry certifications, all at little or no cost to the student.”
To date, the VIP program has:
- Enrolled nearly 800 students.
- Attracted 90% minority participation.
- Recruited over 100 students into apprenticeship programs.
- Provided over 1,100 industry recognized certifications.
- Awarded nearly 640 college credits.