A week ago, Amarri Brown didn’t know what he wanted to do when he graduates from high school in a year, says Maryland Matters.
Then on Tuesday, the 17-year-old junior at Baltimore’s City Neighbors High School took a day-long tour modeled on the college visits that countless numbers of students take each fall. But this tour for about 50 Baltimore high school students showcased apprenticeship opportunities in the building trades.
Now, Amarri is interested in becoming an electrical apprentice, following his hands-on trip to three apprentice training sites.
“I wanted a new experience, to try something new,” said Amarri, noting that he had done some carpentry before. “Electricity — I never did that before. I liked working with the wires. Now I’m interested in working with electricity. It’s dangerous, but if you know what you’re doing, it’s OK.”
Leaders could tell the teens were interested by the questions they asked. While sitting in on a class, students started with typical questions, such as what the average day on the job is like and the rate of pay, but they continued with questions that showed they were genuinely interested and thinking more deeply, said David Springham, assistant training director for the Baltimore Electrical JATC.
“They asked about the downsides, what do people say they don’t like about the job, which is not a typical question,” Springham said. “We told them to expect to be there when it’s very cold and very hot. Some asked how dangerous it is. Some asked what the requirements are scholastically.”