Apprenticeships are a proven training method for employers to build a talent pipeline of highly skilled, educated employees and are one of the many ways that SEEDS is creating a solution to the skilled trades gap. Through EcoCorps, our green-collar career exploration and workforce development program, SEEDS offers two paid apprenticeship opportunities. The Landscape Management Technician Apprenticeship and the Carpentry Apprenticeship are registered apprenticeships through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and Northwest Michigan Works!
Larisa Stone is one of the only youth apprentices in the state of Michigan. Out of the 18,576 active apprenticeships, less than 1% are filled with 16-18 year olds and less than 12% are women. Larisa is one of two young women participating in our apprenticeships this year.
Meet Larisa Stone.EcoCorps Carpentry Apprentice
ABOVE: SEEDS EcoCorps crew member Larisa Stone poses for a photo outside the SEEDS Workshop at Historic Barns Park.
What have you been working on recently?
“Recently I’ve been working on making some simple rustic benches for the EcoSchool.”
Any particular project you’re most proud of?
“The project I’m most proud of is the whiskey barrel table. It has been the hardest project I’ve worked on and I’ve learned so many new skills during the process.”
Why do you do what you do?
“I do woodworking because I was exposed to it in middle school wood shop class where I got to make a key holder and candlestick holder. I just love the process of taking wood and turning it into a beautiful piece of furniture.”
What inspires you?
“I’m inspired by how I can visualize something I want to make and having the ability to actually create it.”
When do you get most excited?
“I get the most excited when I get to work on a project that looks fun or interests me. Just looking at the blueprints and knowing I’m going to be able to make that excites me.”
ABOVE: Larisa, our EcoCorps Carpentry Apprentice sands a charcuterie board crafted from rescued wood. BELOW: This table is made from a recycled whiskey barrel donated by TC Whiskey Company and was designed and built by Chad Womack and our EcoCorps crew members.
“Our apprentices are wage-earning employees who work with skilled mentors and professionals to obtain a national, industry-recognized credential upon completion of their training program.”
— Jennifer Flynn, EcoCorps Program Director