NewsTreasure CoastRegion St Lucie CountyPort St Lucie


'Ready to Work Boot Camp' aims to place students in high-paying jobs

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 18:43:24-04

It is graduation season, and not every high student is looking to go on to college.

On the Treasure Coast, there's a joint effort between the business and education communities to get those young people into the workforce.

Hurricane season is peak season at Expert Shutter Services in Port St. Lucie.

“This is honestly our busiest year ever. On our retail side, we’re up about 51%," said President Mike Heissenberg.

The company has more than doubled in size in the past five years.

“We employ about 85 people, we have room for about 10 new personnel if we can find them," added Heissenberg.

Monday, Expert Shutter was the first stop for the annual “Ready to Work Boot Camp”, put on by the St. Lucie County Economic Development Council and the Treasure Coast Builders Association.

“This allows them to see there a lot of high-paying jobs as long as they’re willing to put in the work," said Chad Rockefeller with Expert Shutter Services.

More than a dozen recent St. Lucie County high school graduates will tour a handful of manufacturing companies over the next five days, with the prospect of signing on for a job at the end of the week.

“If anyone has the opportunity to do this, I would encourage them. Because honestly, it’s going to change my life if it works out the way I hope it does," said Nico Shafer, a 2021 graduate of Lincoln Park Academy.

This is the third year for the boot camp. On average about 2 in 3 students has a job at the end of the week. This year, the goal is to get a job for all the boot camp participants.

A similar program is underway in neighboring Martin County.

At Project Lift in Palm City, students are getting hands on training in a number of trades.

“Maybe see something they like, something that piques their interest. Maybe they have a career in something they didn’t know about," said Jim Brann with the Treasure Coast Builders Association.

These participants will also have the chance to sign on for a job at the end of the week, and if you're interested, there are a few spaces for walk-ins at the Project Lift facility on SW 34th Street in Palm City. Show up ready to go at 8 a.m.

“It’s hands on. We’re doing it. There’s no way you can’t get the feeling of on-the-job type stuff," said participant Gabe Knight.

It’s a chance for recent grads to start writing that next life chapter right away.