The United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) Career Connections program is laying the foundation of a bright, productive future for high school students. Created by the Carpenters International Training Fund, the program is employed in schools across North America to introduce students to the craft and trade of carpentry. Young people gain the knowledge and skills they need to choose a career wisely and prepare for advanced training in a registered apprenticeship program.

The Career Connections program is designed to help high school teachers introduce students to a career in carpentry. Students learn basic and intermediate carpentry, advanced skills in commercial and residential construction, and the essentials of construction site safety. The program also includes training in the employability that research shows employers value most, including: goal setting, positive attitude, punctuality, teamwork, and taking initiative.

Program materials have been written by UBC carpenters from around North America who have both teaching and field experience. Procedures for the projects are designed to be completed using typical school shop tools and have been built and tested in UBC training centers. New in 2020, the Career Connections Program is also available completely online for those high schools that are teaching remotely or with blended learning.

Teacher support is a major feature of the program. All books come with an annotated edition that provides teacher class notes, rubrics for each project, project evaluations, a tool safety operation checklist, a comprehensive skills matrix, and estimated timelines for teaching. Teachers and students can see projects built step-by-step using the program’s Virtual Shop software. In addition, trained and certified outreach specialists—all experienced carpenters—support teachers through mentoring while also ensuring safe shop practices. Tours of our Carpenter Training Centers or school visits by one of our Assistant Coordinators to speak to the students are available upon request.

Watch a video of this program here.

If you are with a school district and would like more information, you may call Kina McAfee at 847-640-7373 or email her at kmcafee@chicap.org