First Choice Pre-Apprenticeship

First Choice - Roadbuilding  


We connect people to the construction industry. The Racine Family YMCA’s First Choice is an equal-opportunity partnership between participants, the Y and area employers to prepare individuals from diverse backgrounds for family-sustaining jobs in the construction industry. Many of our clients have experienced career or life challenges. We help overcome barriers by providing individual mentoring, group training and instruction that leads to career and life success. 


Working in construction requires technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, motivation, teamwork and leadership abilities and our construction industry partners know that First Choice graduates are ready to excel. First Choice focuses on the “whole” individual. Hands-on work experiences through partnerships with Habitat for Humanity Racine, the City of Racine, construction firms in southeastern Wisconsin and the State of Wisconsin are supported by technical instruction in blueprint reading, safety and OSHA-10 and 30 regulations, and “soft” skills-building including literacy, budgeting, decision-making, and project management


First Choice is part of the Racine Family YMCA’s Strong Communities Agenda. Uplifting people from vulnerable communities strengthens our community by providing an educated and talented workforce, increasing wages, inspiring positive changes in behavior and outlook, and advancing responsible citizenship. Our goal is to make southeastern Wisconsin the best place to live and work!


Learn more about our Strong Communities Agenda here.

First Choice Job Fairs bring industry professionals to the George Bray Neighborhood Y branch to meet our students and discuss their company and job opportunities.

First Choice is about families! We work with clients and their entire families because we believe that success begins at home. Participating in First Choice provides resources for a wide range of services: Instruction in proper nutrition, because staying alert on the job and at school is important. Literacy skills development. Because we know that when parents read at home, their children do too. Financial management. Because being able to prioritize bills and manage a budget is essential for project management, and at home too!

The First Choice Pre-Apprenticeship Program’s incredible success is found in partnerships forged throughout southeastern Wisconsin, from construction company executives, area nonprofits that provide supplemental training resources, to local and state government leadership.