Mayfair Middle School’s CTE program, run by Mr. Evin Jarrett, is the only Building Trades Program for middle school students in the City of Philadelphia.

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Welcome to Mayfair Elementary and a one-of-a-kind classroom, where 10-, 11-, and 12-year-olds learn elements of plumbing, carpentry, electrical work and masonry every day — the foundational elements of career and technical education.

Technically, Jarrett’s is a “career exploration” program — formal CTE programs in Pennsylvania require 1,040 hours of instructional time and state approval. But Jarrett’s students can earn some of the same certifications high school students do. He often brings in speakers from various trades and backgrounds to talk to students about their career paths.

Students typically enter their formal CTE programs in 10th grade, which Jarrett thinks is “too late. You’ve got 14-year-olds robbing banks now, shooting each other. We need to get them exposed to the trades a lot earlier, so they can make good decisions.”

Michelle Armstrong, the district’s executive director of career and technical education, calls Jarrett and Mayfair’s program “a unicorn, an example of what we want all our programs to be,” but sees the model as highly promising. Superintendent Tony B. Watlington Sr. has identified optimal middle school design, programming and facilities as one of the key priorities for his administration; Armstrong said middle-grades CTE should fit into that, possibly with schools around the city identified as hubs for the trades.