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Career Catalyst Pre-Apprenticeship Training

Come grow your career with us and get paid
to experience green industry first-hand.

Registration for the January-February 2024 program is closed.

Do you want to start a career in the green industry? The Career Catalyst Pre-Apprenticeship program fast-tracks the next generation of passionate people into meaningful careers in Rhode Island’s plant-based industries.

Participate in work projects on Rhode Island’s public lands, while learning skills and topics that are essential to success in green industry jobs and careers. In this rigorous program, participants earn while they learn, pair theory with practice, and engage with scientists, industry leaders and practitioners. Program graduates are matched with job opportunities and a potential pathway to the more advanced Growing Futures Registered Apprenticeship program.

Growing Futures Career Catalyst Pre-Apprenticeship Training

The heart of the Growing Futures Career Catalyst Pre-Apprenticeship Training is hands-on green collar work. First, participants will attend an orientation in mid-January, 2024. Then, participants will work in small crews improving RI state lands with supervision from experienced industry professionals for three days per week, for five weeks from late January to late February.As a complement to the hands-on work, Growing Futures Career Catalyst Training participants will orient to the broad horticulture industry through online learning modules and other education opportunities that have been developed with direct input from industry professionals.

The Growing Futures Career Catalyst is a Pre-Apprenticeship program and serves as a potential pathway into Registered Apprenticeship, an earn-while-you-learn model of career development that includes mentored on-the-job learning and other training and educational experiences. More than 35 RINLA member companies have employees who participate in RINLA’s Registered Apprenticeship program. Many of these companies seek new employees from among the graduates of Growing Futures’ training programs.

FIRST STEP: Attend online information session on December 4, 2023 at 7:00 p.m.

TRAINING DATES: Online orientation on January 8, 2024; training program from January 22 to February 23, 2024.

HOURS: 36 hours per week for 5 weeks (12 hours of online training and 24 hours of on-the-job training each week)

PAY: $576 per week for 5 weeks.

DELIVERY MODE: Hybrid — both online training and hands-on green industry work.

LOCATION: Online training and travel to the Arcadia Management Area in Hope Valley, RI. Assistance with transportation may be provided.

Learning topics include:

  • Introductory horticulture
  • Tool use and safety
  • Science and mathematics for landscaping
  • Workplace safety training
  • Conflict resolution and communication
  • First aid

Potential career pathways:

  • Arborist/tree care
  • Farming
  • Fine gardening
  • Garden centers
  • Greenhouses
  • Landscape construction and maintenance
  • Stone masonry
  • and more!

Upon completion, participants receive:

  • A certificate of completion
  • Job placement support
  • A portfolio of your new job skills to share with RINLA member businesses who will be hiring
  • Participation in RINLA members-only job fairs, including scheduled brief interviews with a variety of employers
  • Access to a RINLA members-only job board
  • Potential pathway to Registered Apprenticeship

To participate, you must:

  • Be 18 or older.
  • Be unemployed or underemployed.
  • Be able to lift up to 50 pounds.
  • Have access to a computer or tablet and an internet connection to participate in the online learning modules. If you do not have a computer, Growing Futures may be able to provide one for you for the duration of the training program.
  • Wear appropriate winter clothing to do physical work outdoors.
  • Have access to reliable transportation. If you need assistance with this, please indicate this in your application.  

An ideal candidate for this training program and for green industry jobs:

  • Loves being outside and engaging with natural materials (plants, soil, wood, stone).
  • Has endurance for long days of physical work and finds satisfaction in it.
  • Is enthusiastic and motivated to work in the green industry.
  • Is willing and eager to learn.

Please let us know if you have any prior relevant work experience in plant care, outside work, manual labor, or other work with your hands and power tools. Prior experience is helpful, but not required.

Registration for the January-February 2024 training is closed.
Register for an Information Session on Zoom. By attending, you’ll learn all about the pre-apprenticeship training program and receive instructions on how to apply.