Project Bike Tech (PBT), a University of California accredited program, is launching four bicycle technician training programs targeting kids in the Four Corners area. The program is funded through a $148,000 grant from the Catena Foundation and will introduce more employment and mobility options to Indigenous populations through high schools in Carbondale, Colorado, the Ute Reservation in Towaoc, Colorado, and two Diné communities in New Mexico.
“Native Americans, like all minorities, have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and now more than ever could benefit from a program that boosts physical and mental health and job opportunities,” said Mercedes Ross, Project Bike Tech National Director, in a press release.
PBT is an accredited high school elective that uses bike mechanics to teach CORE and STEM elements to students. The program includes over 200 hours of intensive classroom instruction. PBT’s goal is to have all four classrooms running by August 2021, and to graduate 20 students per class annually starting in June 2022, with a longer-term goal of 320 students in four years.
The curriculum will also incorporate career-building skills like interviewing and resumé writing, and the training is “standardized and supported by the cycling industry,” says PBT. The organization has partnered with Outride and Free Bikes 4 Kids to help make it happen.
PBT has implemented programs in California, Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Utah, and Vermont, impacting more than 3,000 high school students, according to the organization. For more information, see the PBT website.