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Palmer Pathways Pre-Apprenticeship


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What is Palmer Pathways?


Palmer Pathways Pre-Apprenticeship is a program that serves young adults between the ages of 18-26 who are disconnected from higher education or gainful employment and have an interest in pursuing a career in the trades. This free program provides 345 hours of training, mentoring, 6+ certifications, connections to industry professionals, and ongoing support services to pre-apprentices.  

Next cohort starting on January 22nd, 2024!

Prospective Pre-Apprentice

Why a Career in the Trades?

The trades are a fast track to a family-wage career! Find a craft that suits your interests and skills, gain the necessary certifications in less time than a four-year degree, and enter a career in the trades without student loan debt

Within just a few years, you can be making six figures, all while doing the important work of keeping our community running. 

Join the Palmer Pathways Pre-Apprenticeship program to find your career and build your brighter future!

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What are the Program Requirements?

To be eligible, prospective Pre-Apprentices must:

  • Be 18-26 years old

  • Be a Pierce County resident

  • Identify as a person of color

  • Hold a high school diploma or GED by the start of the next cohort (preferred

  • Be committed to participate in all training sessions, remain substance free throughout the program, and maintain consistent communication with the Palmer Pathways team

Why Join Palmer Pathways?

Palmer Pathways Pre-Apprenticeship provides you with all of the tools you need to be successful in the trade of your choice. You will gain certifications needed to be a competitive candidate, receive financial support for educational programs, network with industry leaders, and have a committed team supporting you each step of the way. Palmer Pathways has 12 apprenticeship partners who will also give you direct or preferred entry upon completion of our 14-week program!

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Watch Our Webinar to Learn More!

How to Apply

How to Apply


Let us know how best to contact you. We will make sure you are eligible and refer you to different services if you are not. 


Fill the application out as best as you can. An intake specialist will help you finish the application at your first meeting.


Schedule a time to talk to someone on the Palmer Pathways team. We will work with you to get all necessary documents submitted.

Palmer Pathways is Filling a Need in Pierce County

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Here are the Facts!


15,201: Pierce County young adults between 16-24 who are neither employed nor in school

18.2%: Pierce County residents who were unemployed, as of April 2020

$13.88: Average wage of 16-24 year olds in Pierce County

Silver Tsunami: An aging workforce in the trades that will leave many positions vacant with no young people with the credential to fill them

$65,598: The average starting salary for a meter apprentice

A Model that Centers Our Pre-Apprentices' Needs

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Certifications to Set You Up for Success

We recognize disconnected young adults come to our program with needs that extend beyond the worksite. Many of our Pre-Apprentices have families and barriers that have prevented them from achieving gainful employment. We understand that we cannot expect our Pre-Apprentices to succeed in their careers if they are not having their basic needs met first. Our model meets each Pre-Apprentice where they are, providing multiple tracks to a family-wage career in the trades. We leverage our partnerships to expand our Scholars' network and access to careers in the trades. 

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Pathways Pre-apprentices receive six certifications throughout their time in the program. These certifications are CPR/First Aid/PPE/BBP, OSHA 10 and OSHA30 (Construction), Flagging, Forklift, and Aerial/Scissor Lift. These certifications are integral in giving our pre-apprentices a leg up when securing an apprenticeship or employment. 

Our Partners are Our Foundation


Our Scholarship Partner

Don Rupp Craft Scholarship
Est. 2021
The Don Rupp Craft Scholarship honors the legacy of vested IAM member Donald Rupp. This scholarship supports young adults in the Palmer Pathways program pursuing higher education in the trades. 

Partner Opportunities

The Ironworkers are hosting a pre-apprenticeship. If you complete the Ironworkers 4-week Pre-Apprentcieship, you will gain direct entry into the Ironworkers 4 Year Apprenticeship, starting at $27.15 per hour plus benefits, PTO, Annuity and Pension, and a skillset you can take anywhere in the world! 
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