OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy is helping Oklahoma teens find job opportunities.

According to OICA, entering the work force can be challenging for young people, especially those in foster care who age out of the system and enter adulthood without preparation.

OICA worked to connect two organizations that will benefit young people and hopefully assist them with finding jobs.

OICA CEO Joe Dorman connected the Oklahoma Building and Construction Trades Council (OKBCTC) and the Oklahoma Successful Adulthood (OKSA) program in order to lead to additional opportunities for foster youth.

Joe Dorman. Image courtesy Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy.

“I recently attended an apprenticeship recruitment event hosted by the Oklahoma Building & Construction Trades Council. Their executive director, Jimmy Fish, extended the invitation to me to help find young people who might want that opportunity to find a career path. I reached out to friends with the Oklahoma Successful Adulthood (OKSA) program under the Department of Human Services to invite them to also learn about this opportunity. We have both groups connected, and hopefully this will lead to additional opportunities for foster youth who might not know about apprenticeships.” said Dorman.

The OICA says apprenticeships are a way to learn a skilled trade through planned, supervised, hands-on training and related classroom instruction. Once a program is completed, an apprentice becomes a journeyperson, who is fully qualified to perform the work of a specific trade. This is a way to earn money for the skills learned during an apprenticeship.

According to OICA, more than $10 million is put toward apprenticeship training in Oklahoma.

“More than $10 million goes into the training of apprentices in Oklahoma, and the average starting wage for an apprentice is $17.65 an hour, not including health insurance and retirement benefits added on for an additional $15.41 extra,” Dorman added.

For more information, visit OKBCTC’s website.