FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2008-59
September 26, 2008

CONTACT:
Erika Monterroza
Dean Fryer
(415) 703-5050
Internet: www.dir.ca.gov


Division of Apprenticeship Standards promotes career opportunities

Stockton— Friday, September 26, 2008—The Department of Industrial Relations Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DIR/DAS), today kicks off California Apprenticeship Monthwhich begins officially Oct. 1by featuring a career fair for over 600 Stockton area high school students to explore career opportunities in construction trades.

“High school students need to have options that will spark their interest and motivate them to seek career opportunities following graduation,” said DIR Director John Duncan.  “Not every student is seeking a college education, and that’s not the only path to a rewarding career.”

The 4th annual Construction Trades Career Fair-Apprenticeship Pathway was designed to provide area high school juniors and seniors with information about construction careers and enable them to explore options for successful employment after high school.

The fair presented discussions of apprenticeship models for entering careers in the construction trades. The discussions expressed the importance of skill sets needed for specific trades and the course work that will prepare students for success. 

“Apprenticeship programs lead to excellent career opportunities for graduating high school seniors,” said DIR Director John Duncan. “Opportunities for lucrative and rewarding careers already exist here in California, and as we begin to rebuild our infrastructure with voter-approved bond money, those opportunities will become even more abundant.”

Students from at least 15 local and surrounding area high schools attended the career fair, showcasing over a dozen construction trades, including bricklayers, carpenters, cement masons, drywall/lathing, electrical and iron workers, laborers, millwrights, operating engineers, pile drivers, plasterers, plumbers and pipe fitters, roofers and waterproofers, sheet metal workers, tile finishers, and tile, terrazzo and marble setters. Journey workers and apprentices representing each trade were available to meet with students to discuss their experience.

The event was organized and funded by the San Joaquin Area Apprenticeship Coordinators Association.  The association is made up of over 17 construction and related trades apprenticeship programs serving the greater San Joaquin area.  The fair highlighted over 15 construction trades.

Through apprenticeship programs, employees “earn while they learn.” This time-honored method provides apprentices with paid on-the-job-training and formal classroom instruction over a period of years to mentor and nurture craftsmanship that will last a lifetime.

Apprentices are in demand, since California law requires the employment of one hour of apprentice work for every five hours of journeymen work on all public works projects. In addition, a major labor shortage is projected in many of the building trades due to retirement of highly-skilled baby boomers. An estimated 200,000 new apprentices will be needed over the next 10-12 years.

Established within DIR in 1945, DAS enforces California labor law in apprenticeship programs to protect their integrity. DAS also fosters, promotes and develops employment-based apprenticeship training programs correlated with related and supplemental instruction classes that are provided by local education agencies.

Visit the DAS web site at www.ibuiltit.org for more information on both the apprentice and the employer sponsor programs.

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