Pathways Logo_Standard.png

At Palmer Scholars, we recognize attending a 4-year institution is not the only pathway to success. Our newest initiative focuses on disconnected young adults between the ages of 18-26 in our community. We  recruit talented young adults who are not gainfully employed or enrolled in school and are interested in pursuing a career in the trades.  Palmer Pathways Scholars receive training, mentoring, and ongoing support throughout their academic/professional journey. 

Filling a Need in Pierce County

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 Pathway Out of Poverty









At Palmer Scholars, we are committed to helping our Scholars achieve their dreams of a better life through higher education, whether that is a two-year or four-year degree, technical education program, or apprenticeship. We know through experience that we cannot expect our Scholars to succeed in the workplace if they are not getting their basic needs at home. Our “Whole Scholar” model is a holistic approach that provides opportunities for our committed staff, board, and community volunteers to support Scholars in most all areas of life, not just what is generally encapsulated in workforce development programs.

Now a Certified Pre-Apprenticeship Program!

As of April 2021, Palmer Pathways is a certified pre-apprenticeship program by the Washington State Apprenticeship & Training Council. This exciting milestone means that Scholars who complete the Palmer Pathways Pre-Apprenticeship Program will receive preferred or direct entry into one of our six construction trade partners. These partnerships are fast-tracking our Scholars out of poverty and into family-wage careers in the trades!

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!