Whatever your skills or interests, there is a place for you at Urban Boatbuilders. Our opportunities aim to achieve continual capacity for youth programming, and offer enriching experiences for volunteers both through the contributions they make towards a worthwhile mission and personal hands-on learning, skill development and self-growth.
To volunteer in the workshop:
Click on a volunteer opportunity on the calendar and follow the registration instructions. Closed-toed shoes are required. Safety goggles and hearing protection available on-site. Are you a first-time volunteer?
First-time volunteers are required to complete at least one Saturday training session before using any power tools in the workshop. We strongly encourage all volunteers to complete the training before volunteering with us, but as we offer limited training sessions you are welcome to attend open shop to assist with non-power tool related tasks. Sign up using the calendar above for an orientation/tools training. Note: 3rd Saturday orientations are specifically for people who identify as women/trans/femme (WTF). See the Shop Night descriptions below for more information.
Orientation & Basic Tools Training: Join us for a brief orientation on the organization and what we do, followed by basic hand and power tools training (band saw, drill press, 12" disc sander, and chop saw). Those not interested in volunteering on the shop floor don't need to stay for the tools training.
Advanced Power Tools Training: Designed for volunteers with some prior woodworking experience, this training includes a brief orientation on the organization and what we do, followed by training on advanced power tools (table saw, planer, and router).
Open Shop Night (Wednesdays 6:30 – 9:30 PM): This volunteer opportunity is open to all levels of experience and interest, and is a chance to assist with a variety of shop and boat-related projects and learn about other hands-on volunteer opportunities. It’s a relaxed and fun way to get involved in boatbuilding activities, and provides us with very valuable assistance in our programming. Pizza is provided in exchange for your time and participation. Check calendar for holiday or staff-related closings. Saturday training sessions are required for power tools use. If you are unable to complete a training before your first open shop, you may attend and assist in non-power tool related jobs.
Women/Trans/Femme Shop Night (every other Thursday, 6:30 - 9:00 PM): This is a volunteer night for women, transgender, and femme-identified people. Woodworking and boatbuilding is traditionally a male-dominated field, and we believe it’s important to create a supportive space in which WTF-identified people can gain access to and develop their confidence in these skills. Like our Wednesday night open shop volunteer night, this is a time when volunteers work on projects that support our youth boatbuilding projects, workshop, and programming. Pizza is provided in exchange for your time and participation. The regular meeting time is the 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month from 6:30 - 9:00 PM. We also host WTF-specific power tool trainings. These usually occur on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 9 AM - 12 PM. Use the calendar to sign up (summer schedule varies).
What does WTF mean?
Women: people who identify as women
Trans: transgender people who identify with any gender: man, woman, nonbinary, agender, etc.
Femme: anyone who identifies with femininity in their gender expression. (Gender expression refers to how someone presents; from hair to makeup to clothes, etc.)
Learn about our shop night instructors on our Staff Page.
We recruit community members who have experience working with youth to volunteer as a mentor / assistant in our apprenticeship program. Our Volunteer instructors work with an apprenticeship cohort one day a week, assisting the head instructor in answering questions for the youth, moving along the building process, and serving as another adult mentor for the youth we work with. If you are interested in working with youth in our shop, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Make sure to read up on our Apprenticeship Program and the relevant dates and times before sending an inquiry.
Want to contribute your non-woodworking skills?
Consider getting involved on the Marketing/Communications Committee or Fundraising Committee. Participants provide vital support to our organization, and we couldn’t continue our work without support in these capacities. Email us at email@example.com to discuss how you might get involved and contribute to our mission.