IR #2002-18
Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Dean Fryer
Susan Gard
(415) 703-5050

DAS creates new apprenticeship for elevator industry

SAN FRANCISCO - Nearly 200 candidates are slated to begin one of the nation's first apprenticeship programs for elevator construction.

Recently approved by the California Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS), the apprenticeship provides uniform training in building, maintaining and modernizing elevators. The new program covers northern California, a program in southern California is projected by the end of the year.

"In addition to addressing the shortage of well-trained elevator constructors in California, this program of on-the-job training plus classroom instruction is a perfect fit because of the highly technical knowledge needed for working on elevators," said Henry Nunn, DAS chief.

The new apprenticeship program was more than a year in the making and is a collaborative effort by Otis, Schindler, Thyssen and Stenson-Pacific elevator companies and the International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 8. The College of San Mateo helped design the curriculum and accredited the classroom instructors for the program.

DAS developed the standards detailing program progression from entry to journey level. Prior to this new program, elevator constructors had acquired their skills through training provided jointly by an employer and a labor organization, which resulted in the lack of training consistency and lack of promotions based upon skill level.

"State apprenticeship program standards assure workers of equitable wages, hours, working conditions, training and advancement," said Henry Nunn. "The DAS goal is to match the needs of workers for skills to get and keep decent paying jobs with the need of employers for motivated workers with the skills to do the job."

The foundation of California's apprenticeship system is partnership among industry, labor, education and government. Industry-funded and industry-driven, the apprenticeship system provides an effective balance between hands-on learning and theoretical instruction, and develops workers with marketable skills.

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