Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship Programs Provide Pathways to Success

California recently passed AB 554 into law, which requires that local Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) coordinate their programs and services with apprenticeship programs approved by the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards.

In response to this law, Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committees (JATCs)—i.e., Union apprenticeship programs—have been working with their local WIBs to create pre-apprenticeship programs throughout California based on the AFL-CIO Multi-Craft Core Curriculum. These programs are great news for California, which must train the next generation of skilled Union workers for high-speed rail in the Central Valley, green construction in Silicon Valley, and everything in between. 

Apprenticeship programs were once California’s best-kept secret, but the word is spreading. Even President Obama mentioned in his State of the Union address that apprenticeship is key to matching skills and job training with middle class jobs. Apprenticeship programs provide a way for individuals to “earn as they learn.” Apprentices learn a skilled craft and are given an entry into a great career.  In the building trades, apprenticeship is the lifeblood of the construction labor movement. But apprenticeship is not limited to construction. There are apprenticeship programs in health care, automotive repair, the entertainment industry, and many others.

Pre-apprenticeship programs provide introductory preparation courses. These programs help ensure success in an apprenticeship and training program by teaching the basics of working in the industry, teaching skills that will be useful in the trade (e.g., basic construction math), teaching life skills (e.g., money management, work ethics), and teaching about the importance of Union and labor history.

Together, Union apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs are a recipe for success. For more information about these programs, please contact your Trust Fund counsel.

By Kristina Zinnen | March 4, 2014

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