FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2008-20
April 17, 2008

CONTACT:
Kate McGuire
Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050


Campaign to Recruit Apprentices to Help Build Infrastructure Projects Makes Central Valley Debuts

Fresno, Calif.—April 17, 2008—Highlighting the creation of good-paying jobs through the Schwarzenegger Administration’s massive infrastructure construction effort, the state Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) today opened the “I Built It” campaign in Fresno to recruit more construction trades apprentices.

Among the projects are the widening of Highway 99 through Fresno from four lanes to six using Proposition 1B funds, as well as other local roadway projects.  Proposition 1C funds have also been allocated for new multi-family housing in the Fresno area.

The “I Built It” public awareness campaign made its Fresno debut at the Field Iron Worker Apprenticeship and Training Program. The event featured John Duncan, director of the Department of Industrial Relations, and local apprentices.

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.

“Good paying jobs are being generated for apprentices with the release of the infrastructure bond money,” said Director Duncan. “I encourage anyone interested in a career where they can work with their hands and help rebuild California to take advantage of the many apprenticeship opportunities now available.”

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 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. 

For more information about California apprenticeship programs, go to www.ibuiltit.org.

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