• The Skilled Trades Pathway is a registered pre-apprenticeship designed for Durham Public Schools juniors and seniors who are interested in exploring the skilled trades industry. The program is open to students from any DPS high school who are hardworking, demonstrate self-discipline and have a willingness to learn. The students complete two years in the pathway, then upon graduation we work with them to determine their decisions after high school. Our goal is to expose students to job opportunities and education paths that would prepare them for a career in the trades.

    Year One: Junior Year

    During the first year, the students take the Skilled Trades core class. Students learn about various industries in the trades and focus on plumbing, carpentry, HVAC, weatherization, drywall, painting, and electrical work, while obtaining various certifications. Work-based learning experiences are provided for all students, including worksite visits, college tours, presentations from local business partners and construction site visits.

    Year Two: Senior Year

    The second year of the program consists of the work-based learning component. The students will attend their classes at Southern High School for part of the day and then spend time offsite with local businesses to receive additional hands-on learning. Students will have the option to focus on one trade area to improve their skills and prepare them for future opportunities.

  • Waymakers Collaborative

    The WayMakers Collaborative is a public-private partnership of business, education and workforce development partners committed to building a robust pipeline of talent into skilled trades and construction careers in and around Durham. Partners support the DPS Skilled Trades Pathway as well as the Construction Trades Programs at Durham Technical Community College, by serving as guest instructors, providing work-based experiences for students, and advising on curriculum and training labs. To become a WayMakers partner and stay updated on upcoming meetings and opportunities, sign up using this form.

  • Getting Involved

    Guest Speakers: If you would like to serve as a guest instructor/speaker or provide a work-based experience for students please complete this form.


    Sponsorships & Donations : To make a donation or sponsor the Skilled Trades Program, please complete this Google Interest Form.

  •                                                                               Contact Information

    Antia Cooper (Skilled Trades Pathway Coordinator)                               

    919-560-3968 ext. 68509