Pre-Apprenticeship & Bridge Programming

Establishing Career Pathways and Apprenticeship has been recognized nationally, regionally and locally as a key strategy in fostering career success for youth and young adults.   Philadelphia’s local workforce development plan also emphasizes beginning career pathway work within in-school settings, connecting directly to Career and Technical Education Programming. PAI has been a leader in providing this type of programming to in-school youth as well as aligning that programming with CTE pathways.  PAI’s two existing Bridge and Pre-Apprenticeship programs employ that model.  Its newest program that is currently in development will test providing Bridge/Pre-Apprenticeship programming to in-school students in an after-school setting.  

Bridge and Pre-Apprenticeship programs share many of the same characteristics.  Focusing primarily on 10th -12th grade students, these programs offer academic and technical skill building, work-based learning opportunities, industry master classes, summer internships, case management, industry certifications and post-secondary transition planning and are developed in close relationship with industry partners. Pre-Apprenticeships are aligned with a Registered Apprenticeship program and certified by the State.

Early Childhood Education

In response to a regional need for a diverse, highly trained Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce, PAI has collaborated with Parkway West High School and ECE partners to build a pipeline to prepare students for multiple career opportunities in the education field.  Work began on the ECE Career Pathway at Parkway West in 2013; it was officially launched in 2017. A Registered Pre-Apprenticeship program was added to this pathway in 2019

“Philadelphia Academies, Inc. has been supporting development and implementation of the Early Childhood Education Pathway at Parkway West High School since its early inception in 2013… Providing this type of exposure and career preparation in what is considered a non-traditional pre-apprenticeship program is vital for our students, who otherwise would not have access to such a career-focused education… All of these activities are currently overseen and coordinated by our partner staff at PAI, who use their years of experience to connect industry leaders in ECE to our classrooms”. – Kathleen McCladdie, Ed.D. Principal, Parkway West High School


Teaming with the 1Philadelphia initiative, PAI is in the process of developing an after-school program focused on the Technology field for in-school students of color in West Philadelphia.  The goal of this program is to ensure that underrepresented Philadelphia students are receiving the career exposure and supplemental services needed to mitigate barriers to accessing pathways to tech and innovation careers through apprenticeships and/or through continued post-secondary education.

Construction Trades

In response to identified skill gaps among students graduating from Mastbaum’s Career and Technical Education programs, PAI has developed a Bridge-to-Work Program over the last several years that it is currently transitioning into a Registered Pre-Apprenticeship for students in the Construction Trades that ensures participants are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and networks needed to access employment or post-secondary training leading to life-sustaining wages.

“Our school vision is Mastbaum. We Build the Future.  We are all builders at Mastbaum, and the Construction Trades partnership with PAI helps us to do exactly that – build the skills of young people so that we may build the literal future together. “ – David Lon, Principal, Mastbaum

Contact Us

For more information about our Bridge & Pre-Apprenticeship Program, contact:

Cheryl Lafferty

Senior Program Director

215-564-6300 ext. 108