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Transforming Career and Technical


The Harbor Freight Fellows Initiative (HFFI) is a partnership between Big Picture Learning and the

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools program to elevate the respect and resources accorded youth (and their teachers).

We support youth for whom the trades are the appropriate and chosen post secondary path to a fulfilling life as a professional and community member–especially those who have been historically marginalized in the trades through race, ethnicity, or gender bias.  


HFFI compensates apprenticing experiences with professional tradesperson mentors. Fellows work alongside

mentors in real work situations to deepen their interest, develop hands-on practical skills, and broaden the

professional network that will support them as they move through their professional lives. HFFI, CTE teachers, and

industry mentors come together to provide transformative experiences for Fellows and strengthen CTE programs to

develop a cohort of skilled, and committed youth entering the trades.

Harbor Freight Fellows

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Travels with Charlie: 
Global Workforce Development Summit
HFFI Reaches Across South Carolina!
HFFI Director Charlie Plant meets with Charleston Regional Director Al Jenkins.
Al Jenkins and Leon Burgess.HEIC
Harbor Freight Fellows

Harbor Freight Fellows

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There has been unprecedented demand for Fellowships this year. In order to provide equitable access to this opportunity around the country, we are having to limit Nominations in some regions.


Before you nominate a youth, please call Charlie Plant, HFFI National Coordinator.


Nominations for 2023/24


Fellowship Information

Harbor Freight Full Fellowships 


  • High school seniors and older youth who are committed to pursuing a trade

  • $1,000 scholarship to the youth for 120 hours of apprenticing with a tradesperson Mentor

  • Stipends for trades-based Mentors and supporting staff members (Advisors) at participating organizations may be available

Harbor Freight Explorer Fellowships

  • For youth who are exploring an interest in the trades - often but not necessarily younger students

  • $250 scholarship to the youth for 60 hours of apprenticing with a trades person Mentor.

  • Stipends for trades-based Mentors and supporting staff members (Advisors) at participating organizations may be available.

The Harbor Freight Fellows Initiative has served hundreds of trades bound youth in over 75 schools and 14 states around the country. HFFI is developing partnerships with a wide range of educators and industries around the country. Fellows have successfully completed apprenticing experiences in almost 20 trades.


For more information please view the Partners tab.

Fellow Focus


Micah "Tiny" Charles is a Harbor Freight Fellow, and outstanding student, athlete and leader at Barringer High School in Newark New Jersey. "Tiny" because Micah is 6'8' tall and wears a size 16 shoe!  He loves carpentry and building and is set to pursue a career in the trades.  He was raised in Trinidad, Tobago and only recently came to Barrainger about a year and a half ago, but has made his mark. Meet Harbor Freight Fellow Micah Charles!!

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