Career Pathways Learning Lab

The lmmokalee Foundation is building a new 18-home subdivision in lmmokalee that will serve as a hands-on professional career experience for the Foundation’s students.

The Career Pathways Learning Lab is a unique project that enables students following the Foundation’s Career Pathways curriculum for Engineering & Construction Management and Business Management & Entrepreneurship to work with industry professionals and learn about land development, home construction, marketing and sales.

Career Pathways Learning Lab
Empowering Students to Succeed

Empowering Students to Succeed

The Immokalee Foundation analyzed data from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to identify career pathways that provide the greatest opportunity and growth in Southwest Florida. These include Engineering & Construction Management, Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Education & Human Services, and Health Care. Our new model recognizes that many well-paying jobs are available to students who earn industry-recognized certification and credentials, in addition to professions that require a college or university degree.

Engineering & Construction Management Pathway

Working with lmmokalee Technical College (iTECH), BCB Homes, and Collier Enterprises, The lmmokalee Foundation developed a high school curriculum to prepare students to enter the engineering and construction management professions. This curriculum focuses on after-school and summer programs that incorporate experiential learning and paid internships that can lead to four industry-recognized credentials.

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10-hour Training Certificate (OSHA-10) — Federal regulatory safety training needed to work on a construction site.
  • National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Core Certificate — Pre-requisite training on safety, communications, construction math, tools, etc.
  • NCCER Building Construction Technologies Certificate — Training in carpentry, masonry, concrete finishing, roofing, electrical work, HVAC, and plumbing.
  • NCCER Construction Supervisor Certificate — Skills training required to supervise at a construction site.
Home Layout Rendering
Home Renderings

Career Pathways Learning Lab

The paid internship and on-the-job training at a new home construction site are critical to completing the NCCER certifications. It provides the student with real-world experience to develop and refine the skills needed for residential construction.

It is commercially and logistically impractical to find internships at existing residential construction sites while maintaining the quality of instruction and training needed to complete the industry certifications before high school graduation. The Learning Lab addresses the critical need for hands-on professional career experience.

The Career Pathways Learning Lab is made possible by generous donors as well as other community partners, many providing services on a pro-bono or reduced-fee basis.

Construction plans for residential homes include the following:

  • The lmmokalee Foundation is providing supervision for students during new home construction, while BCB Homes is the general contractor, and iTECH supports onsite educational instruction.
  • Home construction will occur year-round. Construction of each home will take approximately seven months.
  • The homes will be 1,680, 1,756 and 1,791 air-conditioned square feet with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a two-car garage.
  • Subcontractors have been selected based on the understanding that this is a non-profit, job-training project with the students building the homes under the supervision and guidance of BCB Homes and their subcontractors.
  • The new homes will be sold at market price to support the construction of the other homes in the subdivision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does $8,500 invested in a seventh grader grow into a full college tuition scholarship?

This is the approximate purchase price of a four-year tuition through the Florida Prepaid Foundation. Funds are immediately matched by the Prepaid Foundation so the purchasing power is doubled. Because TSIC students perform well, they often leverage their TSIC scholarships to exceed $40,000 in value.

How do you decide which students are able to participate in Take Stock in Children?

Students are selected based on economic need, essay questions, and an interview. The admissions team also assesses each student’s potential to maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA, stay out of trouble, meet school attendance requirements, and perform community service.

What does it mean to be a Take Stock in Children mentor?

TSIC mentors enjoy the opportunity to empower individual students, helping those students to find their own personal paths to success. With a time investment of just one or two hours each week, a volunteer can get to know a student and help them navigate the challenges of education and life.

Why are mentors important?

Students raised in Immokalee are at high risk of failing to complete high school, as evidenced by the 57% high school graduation rate. Our TSIC students have a 97% graduation rate. We attribute much of this success to the hard work of our volunteer mentors who meet regularly with our students, coaching and supporting them throughout the school year.

  • “Even during college, a mentor met up with me on campus, the whole nine yards. The Immokalee Foundation didn’t get me to college and forget about me.”

    Junior Florida Gulf Coast University graduate

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