Apprenticeship Program

About The Apprenticeship Program

This apprenticeship is a hands on education opportunity to learn carpentry, small scale agriculture, solar electric and other skills related to sustainability. This learning experience will happen by building infrastructure at The Underground Center (UGC) and in helping create soil and other infrastructure in the gardens that are a part of our Free Food Program in the town of Saugerties.

How does it work

The apprenticeship consists of 4-5 hour workdays that are guided learning experiences. The work days include detailed instruction by people experienced in the related field. The apprentices assist in the work and as they become more skilled they are given more complicated tasks. By getting hands on experience combined with instruction and explanations of how the work can be applied, apprentices learn complicated skills very quickly.

Unlike most workshop opportunities, this apprenticeship is free. In addition we offer a small stipend to encourage teens to learn these important skills and to cover any transportation cost. Every three workdays, apprentices are given a $100 stipend. Additionally, lunch is provided by the staff of the UGC each work day.

Job placement:

After apprentices gain a certain level of mastery, they will be given the opportunity to apply their skills in paid work opportunities. The independent contractors we collaborate with will hire our apprentices for $12-$20 an hour depending on the complexity of the project. Our intention is to guide young people in our community by showing them the many opportunities to put their newly acquired trade to use making a living.

What skills apprentices can learn:

This year we are teaching the following skills:

  1. timber frame construction
  2. stick frame construction
  3. dry laid stone work
  4. off grid solar (PV) electric
  5. rain catch installation
  6. soil building
  7. sustainable farming (planting, maintenance, harvesting and processing)
  8. fruit tree planting and maintenance

Why become an apprentice at the UGC?

  • To learn skills that can be applied in the workplace
  • To become more independent and resilient by learning how to grow your own food and build your own off grid house
  • To build your resume for jobs or college
  • To get volunteer hours at a charitable organization
  • To learn about sustainability movements and how you can contribute to them
  • To give back to the community and build connections to become a community leader
  • To find paid work through our job placement program
  • To learn skills to become an independent contractor or become a valuable worker for an existing business.

Future of our apprenticeship program

In the future, we hope that our apprentices can become leaders in a workforce to transition our local community into a more sustainable and just place. As our program grows, we intend to develop productive businesses, co-ops and collectives to create employment for local youth while building affordable sustainable homes, stimulating local food production and rebuilding our local infrastructure to be environmentally friendly. At the very least, we hope that by teaching skills and modeling more cooperative ways of working we will play our part in inspiring our youth to take responsibility for the future of our community.

To become an apprentice contact us at:

tel: 845-594-7979