IR #2008-15
March 13, 2008

Dean Fryer
Kate McGuire
(415) 703-5050

Campaign to Recruit Apprentices for Infrastructure Projects makes Southern California debut

Azusa, Calif.—March 13, 2008— Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration today highlighted a new campaign to recruit apprentices for public works projects funded by bonds that will help California rebuild its infrastructure and keep the economy growing.

The “I Built It” public awareness/education campaign made its Southern California debut at the Laborer’s Training and Retraining Trust Fund of Southern California (Laborer’s Training School) in Azusa.

 Through events, television public service announcements and a new Web site, the campaign urges anyone interested in high-wage careers in the building trades to follow the age-old “earn while you learn” apprenticeship path, which combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction.

“There are hundreds of thousands of jobs being generated for apprentices by the release of this infrastructure bond money,” said Department of Industrial Relations Director John Duncan. “We’ll need every able-bodied person who wants to work outdoors with their hands to get these projects built.”

Under California law, one apprentice for every five journeymen is required to be employed on all public works job. In addition, the state is projected to have a major labor shortage in many of the building trades due to retirements of highly skilled baby boomers. An estimated 200,000 new apprentices will be needed over the next 10-12 years.

Within the next six years California will need:

There is also a need for laborers, cement masons, concrete finishers and ironworkers to build the bridges, highways, schools, levees and housing the state will need over the next 10-12 years. That means apprentices need to get into the pipeline now. 

Voters last year approved $42 billion in infrastructure bonds, and Governor Schwarzenegger recently expedited the release of $211 million in Proposition 1E funds for four critical levee improvement projects in Northern California and awarded $40 million to improve 11 ports across the state. The release of bond funds is part of his agenda to rebuild California's aging infrastructure while boosting the state's economy by creating jobs.

For more information about California apprenticeship programs, go to