Join S.T.A.R.T.

Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Readiness Training (S.T.A.R.T.)


There is a high demand for workers in the skilled trades and that trend will continue as many carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other workers reach retirement age. Nationwide, 80 percent of home builders report labor shortages. Apprenticeship programs offer an opportunity to train for secure, financially rewarding employment doing work in which you can take pride. The average annual salary for a journey person in the construction trades: $55,000 a year (2016 data). In 2019, START has openings for up to 10 people, age 18 and up, in each of three sessions (30 total) to gain new skills while contributing to the community by building an affordable home.

The Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Readiness Training (S.T.A.R.T.) can serve recent graduates, veterans, hands-on learners who found college was not the best fit, or any worker who is unemployed, underemployed, or working in seasonal employment.

The program provides hands-on training, structure, and experience in problem solving, teamwork, and leadership. Along with new skills, participants can explore future opportunities while experiencing pride in hard work and craftsmanship.

Successful participants have a passion to change the world and their own lives in an honorable way – one that can be physically measured and in which they can take pride.

Successful graduates receive an industry recognized certificate.

For more information contact or call the Advocates for Benzie County office at 231.227.1166 and leave a message.


For more information or to sign up use the links below.

START Brochure

START Application

October Community Forum Summary

The Advocates for Benzie County held their community forum on Monday night, October 29, at the old Platte River School in Honor. Over 50 people joined the conversations related to the START program, the Dolly Parton Library and recruitment for mentors in the schools. Ingemar Johannson spoke about the ways in which the School might become a public community center. There was also some discussion of the continuing need for affordable housing.

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