Young painters will soon be able to earn college credits while they complete their vocational high school degrees through a new program funded by the painters’ union and painting companies, the Boston public schools announced Tuesday.
Madison Park Technical Vocational High School is partnering with The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 35, and the Painters and Glaziers Employers Association of New England. The two organizations donated $125,000 to the school on Tuesday to fund the new program.
The program will be available to qualifying seniors who meet academic and attendance requirements. Once enrolled, they will be dual-enrolled, earning credits toward both high school and technical degrees.
International Union of Painters spokesman John Doherty said the program is an extension of the union’s own program, which allows the students to complete their coursework while also working on job sites and reaching 2nd- or 3rd-year apprenticeship status with the union by graduation.
“This pretty much gets them immediate placement on a site in Boston when they finish,” Doherty said.
Doherty said the goal is to increase the local talent pool in a growing industry.
“Not just here, but around the country, there’s a huge shortage of skilled labor.,” Doherty said.
“If people are hired locally, money goes back into the community to create more jobs.”
Over 60 students are currently studying to become industrial painters at Madison Park, Executive Director Kevin McCaskill said.
McCaskill said the program will add to the “hands-on experience” Madison Park offers its students.
“Students will have the opportunity to showcase talents and skills to really be proficient or better,” McCaskill said. The program is “creating an opportunity for students – especially students in certain zip codes.”Laney Ruckstuhl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @laneyruckstuhl.