The purpose of this program is to provide youth with bicycle mechanic skills training as well as employment opportunities. It is a mentorship program where the participant gains solid skills and real-world work experience through paid apprenticeships. This provides the participant with marketable skills that allow them to maintain their bikes and those of their friends, and that may also be listed on a resume for future job opportunities.
Our first Apprentice Mechanic, Se’Daruis Rodgers, was hired at the beginning of April. He is 16 and came up through our Boys and Girls Club Earn-A-Bike and Maintenance Program. After earning a bike, he started as a Shop Assistant and then became an Assistant Mechanic, helping maintain the shop and performing maintenance and repairs during class. During the summer of 2014, we expanded this program through a partnership with Austin B-Cycle, where he developed new skills as he learned about fleet management, bike building, and much more. His role within Ghisallo also grew as he became an Assistant Instructor during our summer Bike Club rides.
We will continue to offer this iteration of the program through our Earn-A-Bike and Maintenance Shop, and offer a structured program to a set of their students who will receive an Apprentice Mechanic Certificate upon successful completion.
We expect to develop additional paid internship opportunities beyond Austin B-Cycle through partnerships with local bike shops where successful participants can work as bike builders and novice bike mechanics. If you are interested in hosting a paid intern as a bike builder or shop assistant, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.