As part of its ongoing initiative to offer gainful employment opportunities to local residents, the City of Santa Monica is recruiting for a two-year trades intern program.

The program is designed to provide a supportive skilled job training experience to adults between the ages of 18 to 30 years old. It is targeted towards residents with limited education credentials, to help them enter stable and financially sustaining career paths without needing to pursue expensive post-graduate degrees.

Participants are paid $16.63 per hour and have the opportunity to learn different occupational trades across the Resource Recovery & Recycling Department, Water Department and Big Blue Bus. Residents or individuals who attended a Santa Monica public school are eligible.

High school graduates are welcome, but preference is given to those who have not completed their high school education. During the program, interns participate in a weekly job skills class and are required to continue their education by completing their GED or attending a trade school.

“The cool thing about this program today is beyond the living wage they get paid during this time, they also get their school paid for and they get benefits just like they are regular employees,” said Community Services Program Coordinator Michael Jackson. “I think many of the interns find great stability in the program.”

The program focuses on technical skills in electricals, plumbing, hydraulics, vehicle mechanics and carpentry. Participants will perform a variety of unskilled and semiskilled tasks in these fields while on the job and also have the opportunity to obtain a class A or B drivers license.

At the same time participants are taught life skills and meet with a variety of speakers such as entrepreneurs, financial advisors and credit repair professionals.

“We go through life skills from financial literacy to intelligent decision making,” said Jackson. “This program also teaches you the essence of what soft skills are: What is your attitude? How do you set up your day? What is your work ethic? How do you deal with challenging co-workers?”

By the end of the two-year program, participants will have developed both trade and life skills that will pave the way for future employment at the City or with other employers such as the Department of Water and Power, Southern California Edison or private contractors.

“It is a high expectation but high support program, because we are really looking at ways to make sure everybody meets their challenges, but also learns skills that will be invaluable for them,” said Jackson. “Whether they go into a career in the trades or they don’t, soft skills translate everywhere.”

To qualify, potential applicants must have a valid California driver’s license, show proof of eligibility to work in the United States and any convictions on their record must be six months or older at the date of the application. More information on the program can be found at