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Program Description: 

Project GUIDE (Geared to Understanding and Identifying Desired Employment) is a pre-apprenticeship program offering youth ages 16-24 job readiness, technical skills training, and paid internship opportunities with local businesses in fast-growing industries. 

Customized Workforce Training for In-Demand Industries: 

In June 2021, we launched our first cohort for Project GUIDE in partnership with Frederick Community College. We specialize in customizing workforce training for in-demand industries that prepare youth ages 16-24 for entry-level positions. The first in-demand industry selected for the pre-apprenticeship program is Construction and Skilled Trades. The construction and skilled trades industry is considered one of the top five largest industries in Frederick County and has a +8.3 percent 5-year job growth rate.* Additionally, this industry offers opportunities for substantial wage and career growth, which makes it more accessible for youth to gain employment and earn a living wage.* 

*FCWS Industry Snapshot Construction & Skilled Trades

Program Breakdown: 


During our training program, trainees will participate in an intensive six-week paid training which consists of strengthening their job readiness, financial literacy, and technical skills, learning construction math and measurement, completing hands-on projects in a lab setting, and assisting local community organizations with home improvement projects. While in the program, trainees will earn industry-recognized credentials such as forklift operator, OSHA 10, and EPA certifications. After completing the in-classroom training, trainees will transition into a  paid internship or employment opportunity with a local employer in the construction and skilled trades. Throughout the program, trainees receive one-on-one career coaching to guide them in selecting one of the following career tracks: 

•    Registered Apprenticeship Programs
•    Academic or Vocational Education Programs
•    Permanent employment in a related field
•    Permanent employment in a non-related field

Purpose of Project GUIDE:  

Project GUIDE is a direct response to the growing number of youths in the Frederick County area with a household income at or below the ALICE threshold, meaning they have insufficient income to offset the basic cost of living. Our program aims to create pathways that increase the economic mobility of youth identified as ALICE by equipping them with essential workplace readiness and financial literacy skills to gain access to living-wage jobs and make better financial decisions. As a result, we can increase youth's confidence level and leadership capacity. Also, this program will help build a talent pipeline of skilled workers ready to land employment opportunities that will provide on-the-job training.

Program Eligibility Requirements:

  • Youth must be a Frederick County resident.

  • Youth must be between the age of 16-24.

  • Youth must meet the income requirements for your household size. (Ex. A person with a family size of four (4) household incomes cannot exceed $79,600). 


*Note: Frederick County Area Median Income (AMI) is the HUD Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) median income

Our talent pipeline yields the following: 

Program Participants Receive: 

  • Paid Stipend

  • One-On-One Job Coaching

  • Networking Opportunities with Industry Professionals

  • No-Cost Training

Professional Support Businesses Receive: 

  • Increase Visibility 

  • Networking Opportunities

  • Cultural Competency Training

  • Valuable Tax Incentives

  • Increase Workforce Diversity

  • Low-Cost Job-Ready Interns

  • Access to New Talent 

Our Training Program

In-Classroom Training

Youth will participate in an 8-week paid job readiness and technical skills training program that consists of strengthening their essential workplace, technical, and basic life skills. 

Internship Opportunities

Youth will receive hands-on work experiences through a 6-week paid internship opportunity with local businesses in-demand industries. 

Industry Recognized Credentials

Trainees have the opportunity to earn industry recognized credential, such as Fortlift Operator and OSHA 10 Certifications. After successfully completing the program, trainees will receive a certificate of completion from Empowered to Live and Frederick Community College.

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