Roanoke company offers surveying apprenticeship for high school students to get a head start on the job market

ROANOKE, Va. – A Roanoke-based architecture firm is helping local students find work they’re passionate about before they’ve even graduated from high school.

Balzer & Associates helps local high school students try out a career in surveying.

“Surveying doesn’t seem to show up on a lot of people’s career radars,” said company vice president James Patton.

That’s why the company is partnering with the Department of Labor and Industry to offer a survey technician apprenticeship program.

“It’s a good way to get your foot in the door in the workplace and in the field of work and it’s a much better job than working in a fast food restaurant or something like that,” said the current apprentice, Camden Freeland.

For some like Phoenix Angell, the apprenticeship can turn into a full-time job as a surveyor, without having to go to college.

“It’s a great way to get a head start in the real world,” Angell said. “It’s a great way to gain experience slowly, learn how to do your job well, and move up the ranks fairly quickly if the opportunity arises.”

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Balzer apprentices are paid and earn school credits while learning the trade.

“It gives young people the opportunity to enter a field in which they might not have had the chance to enter before leaving school. And to get work experience, get paid and that counts for their class credit, so it doesn’t take away from their education, that’s a big part of it,” Patton said.

Middle and high school students from Roanoke City Schools, Roanoke County Schools, and City of Salem Schools are eligible to participate in the program.

Applications are now being accepted.

Learn more about the program at Balzer & Associates website.

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