Barrio Works exists to mentor at-risk youth in developing life skills required for gainful employment. It is both an instructional and entrepreneurial facility, in which assembly and repair of bicycles is done by at-risk youth under the supervision of adult staff and volunteers. All proceeds of sales are re-invested in the shop to pay for new bicycles, parts, equipment, or to pay youth as "apprentice mechanics" in an incentive-based job skills development program.
As apprentices progress in skill level, they earn more per hour, just as they would with another employer. Youth over 16 years, with the appropriate skill level, are eligible to earn cash wages for their work. These advanced apprentices become leaders in the shop, passing on the skills they've learned to the next generation of young apprentices, and make money to help their families and pay their way through school.
Every summer, Neighborhood Ministries hosts a 10 week internship that gives young people (ages 16+) the opportunity to gain on-the-job training in various programs hosted on site. Summer interns earn a stipend for their work as well as gain valuable experience working in an urban ministry context.
In addition, Neighborhood Ministries offers a 2 year internship for young workers who want to work year round, not just in the summer. If you would like to learn more about becoming an intern in Barrio Works, please contact Chris Williams at: email@example.com
Rather than giving bikes away for free, we offer an Earn-a-bike program for entry-level youth. As an introduction to our apprenticeship program, youth "punch-in" on shop timecards and learn the basics of bicycle maintenance and repair (and the building blocks of employment), all while earning an hourly wage redeemable in the shop for the purchase of a new bicycle or parts for their existing bicycle.