Explore Careers in the Trades with Virtual Reality

AwesomeStPaul is proud to announce that our February 2023 grant has been awarded to Urban Boatbuilders. They will use our $1,000 grant to encourage high school students to consider careers in the trades by using virtual reality technology. Urban Boatbuilders was chosen because our trustees want to help students build their teamwork and math skills, which are critically-important to success in all careers. Our trustees also understand there is a shortage of young people considering careers in the trades and this is our way of helping. Congratulations Urban Boatbuilders!

According to Michael Wurth of Urban Boatbuilders, "We have become more focused on promoting careers in the trades to youth in our apprenticeship program. These careers are referred to as gateway occupations or careers that can lift youth out of generational poverty, providing them with wages of more than $42,000 annually. These wages allow youth to live independently and build wealth for themselves and their families. Urban Boatbuilders hands-on youth programming provides introductory courses into the trades, and many youth express an interest to build on these skills and pursue a career in the trades.

At a recent tour of Saint Paul College, youth apprentices were able to use virtual reality (VR) to see what a career as an industrial painter was like. The youth absolutely loved it!

Urban Boatbuilders heard of another nonprofit organization called Big Ideas. Their goal is to provide exposure to these careers through VR - everything from carpentry to running an excavator. Big Ideas has a full-size semi-trailer that they bring to host sites for half-day programming. The interest in a partnership is very real from both parties. However, the cost for a half day of programming is around $2800. If Urban Boatbuilders can secure some funding, there will be interest from other organizations to pitch in to make this dream become a (virtual) reality."

Fondos becados por St. Paul, MN (February 2023)