We craft futures.
We provide second chances.

The Seaport Foundation’s Apprentice Program uses the craft of woodworking and traditional boatbuilding as an immersive experience that teaches technical skills and habits of mind that are needed for success in employment and adulthood. Apprentices work alongside experienced woodworkers, carpenters, boat builders, and mentors who teach and challenge them each day.

Our goal is to provide a life-changing, hands-on learning opportunity for young people, ages 16-22, who have struggled with significant obstacles and are eager to get on a path to success. The young people we serve need a shot at creating a good life. Many have had issues with law enforcement, some have not succeeded in school, and some suffer from anxiety or depression. All of our young people have lost their path to success and need a nurturing environment to learn, grow, gain confidence, and build a new and firmer path.

Apprentice Program Curriculum

The Apprentice Program provides a structured curriculum with teachers and mentors who provide an individual learning experience for each apprentice. Our staff and volunteers provide support, personalized learning, mentorship, and skills these young people need to grasp hope, transform their lives, get job-ready, and become the citizens Alexandria and our region need for a bright future.

Through the program, apprentices learn:

  • Carpentry and Woodworking
  • Applied Math Skills
    Measurement, fractions, division, multiplication, estimation
  • Job Skills
    Critical thinking, team work, questioning and learning from supervisors
  • Personal Skills
    Being on time, communicating effectively, speaking with confidence, working with diverse people, building a positive attitude
  • GED Preparation
    Tutoring and GED test preparation in all four subject areas for Apprentices who enter without a high school diploma
  • Personal Finance and Budgeting
  • Resume Writing and Interviewing
  • Life Skills
    How to navigate government, health, and social service systems; how to be responsible for themselves, their decisions, and their families

Apprentice Program Structure

The Apprentice Program is six to nine months in duration, depending on individual apprentice needs, and includes the following steps:

  • A one-month trial period where apprentices are introduced to woodworking and the curriculum.
  • Acceptance into the full apprenticeship program with a three-phase curriculum focused on technical and workforce skills.
  • One-on-one mentoring and life skills coaching.
  • Guidance in resume writing, career research, and interviewing
  • Connection to job opportunities in the construction industry, boating industry, and local Alexandria businesses.

Apprentices are paid a weekly stipend during the trial period and are paid hourly once accepted into the program.

Are you ready to apply? Download an application here:

Apprentice Program Application

Are you ready for a challenge?

If you are interested in applying to the Apprentice Program or have questions,
contact Jay Helinski at helinski@alexandriaseaport.org or call the Seaport Foundation office at 703-778-0977.

The Seaport Foundation’s work is enriched through volunteers of all kinds. Learn more about how you can get engaged.