Building California Construction Careers–BC3


– Recent data from the University of California shows that for every four people who leave the trades, by retirement or otherwise, only one new person is supplied by apprenticeship programs to enter the trades.

– The average age of a construction worker is 39 years old.

– With $36 billion of construction work currently in the pipeline and another $40 billion to be spent with the recently-passed Infrastructure Bonds, projections run to up to 144,000 new construction workers needed..

– The majority of Americans know very little about apprenticeship programs or the construction trades. Often, what they do know is not complimentary.

– Young people coming out of high school know practically nothing about apprenticeship. Even more so, they don’t see the construction trades as a promising career.

– Our job is to educate young people, parents, teachers, One Stops, transitioning adults, veterans and others about the value of construction trades as a life-long career with good pay and excellent benefits. These programs represent a positive alternative to a four-year degree.

– Virtually all career counseling done in our public schools stresses the importance of going to college. This is contrary to what really happens to young people as they leave high school.

– The facts? The California Department of Education tells us that out of every 100 students in our high schools, 30 will drop out before graduation. Of the 70 who are left only 21 will go on to college. Of those who attend our community colleges, half will drop out in the second semester. Yet, all of our state counseling resources are geared for the few who will actually finish college. What happens to the 79% left behind?

– State-approved apprenticeship programs train about 66,000 students each year. Of these programs, 91% are sponsored jointly by union and management, with a graduation rate of about 75%. The remaining 9% are sponsored by unilateral management programs with a graduation rate of about 10%.

– Students in approved programs start out at 40% of the prevailing wage in their area. This translates to about $12-$15 per hour, plus benefits while they begin the program. That rate goes up each year until they turn out as journeymen. The average craft journeyman makes about $28 per hour in this state plus health and pension benefits. Many trades pay in excess of $75 per hour with overtime.

– Apprenticeship programs in the construction trades are very selective in their admission and retention criteria. Almost all programs require entrance exams, interviews, skills testing, zero tolerance for drugs and rigorous classroom standards. Many programs integrate courses with local community colleges in their program so that a student may earn an Associates Degree at the same time they complete their apprenticeship.

– Not everyone can qualify to receive a five-year scholarship, get paid while they work and learn a life-long skill. Not only is a high school diploma or a GED required, solid math, English and communication skills are needed as well.

– Becoming a journeyman in a skilled trade introduces a young person to an organized family of workers who share the same training and values about their work. All union programs and most unilateral programs offer additional training and skills upgrades to keep workers current with new technology and construction techniques.

For More Information Please Contact:

1225 8th Street, Suite 375
Sacramento, CA, 95814
Phone: 916-443-3302 Fax: 916-443-8204