IR #2010-32
October 28, 2010

Dean Fryer
Erika Monterroza


California Construction Apprentices Prepped for Green Projects

San Francisco, CA – The Department of Industrial Relations’ (DIR) Division of Apprenticeship Standards is ushering in a greener future for California by incorporating environmental components into minimum training criteria for apprenticeship trades.  Committees made up of equal numbers of employer and employee representatives for every building construction trade will establish green guidelines for including carpentry, construction, electrical, plumbing and roofing.  Literally every apprentice in California, in the building construction trades, which is where the ‘green jobs’ are, will be trained in green construction.  They will learn an overview which stresses the importance of environmentally sound practices as well as learn the most innovative methods for their particular craft.

“California is known as an innovative state and we continue that tradition by incorporating important environmental components into the skill set of employees,” said DIR Director John C. Duncan.  “Nearly 70,000 apprentices have literally helped build this state, and as we look toward the future, this improvement will enhance the apprentices’ skills and value in the global marketplace.”

The Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) aids the committee in the process of developing minimum industry training criteria (MITC).  The committee’s environmental MITC will be submitted to the California Apprenticeship Council during its quarterly public meeting on Thursday, October 28 at the Hilton San Diego, 1775 East Mission Bay Drive.  Once the council approves the MITC, the apprenticeship programs have one year to update their standards to come in compliance.

The council passed a requirement in January 2010 to add green training to the minimum training criteria of all state apprenticeship programs.  The green guidelines for each industry must include a designated length of training, work processes of on-the-job training including recycling, reusing and preservation of resources, and competency testing.

“Children in elementary schools are being taught the necessity to recycle and live in a way that reduces harm to the environment. Their parents go to work and find the consumer demanding greener practices as they build, remodel and retrofit infrastructure, business and housing” said DAS Area Administrator Renee Bacchini. “It is inevitable that greener practices are trending towards the norm and California must stay on top of that trend.  Today we are taking a large step forward as we require every apprentice trained in the building construction trades to learn the latest innovations and technologies for green practices.”

DAS creates opportunities for Californians to gain employable lifetime skills and provides employers with a highly skilled and experienced workforce by administering California apprenticeship law and enforcing apprenticeship standards for wages, hours and working conditions.  DAS promotes apprenticeship training through creation of partnerships, consults with program sponsors and monitors programs to ensure high standards for on-the-job training and supplemental classroom instruction. DAS annually awards completion certificates to the graduates of the 611 currently active apprenticeship programs in more than 500 occupations.

# # #