FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR #2011-15
July 20, 2011

CONTACT:
Dean Fryer
Erika Monterroza
415-703-5050

Internet: www.dir.ca.gov


DIR makes available $3 million for State Registered Apprenticeship Programs

San Francisco – The California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DIR/DAS) is now accepting applications and preparing to award up to $3 million in annual Training Fund Grants. The grant money will be issued to state-registered apprenticeship programs in the building construction trades who dispatch apprentices to public works job sites.

“These grants are a way to ensure California continues to build a quality, trained and skilled workforce,” said Labor and Workforce Development Agency Secretary Marty Morgenstern. “Before a generation of skilled craftsmen retires we need to ensure that proven skills, techniques and quality of work are passed on to new apprentices entering the trades. The apprenticeship model is a dynamic system in which skilled journeymen help develop and hone the skills of a new generation of apprentices now entering the workplace.”

Legislation enacted in 1999 established the collection of training funds from wages paid to both apprentices and journeymen on public works projects.  The first grants were issued in 2005.

“This funding provides support for over 24 occupations that will affect 228 apprenticeship programs and provide training for 54,000 apprentices,” said DIR Acting Director Christine Baker. “For example, Cement Masons have been able to purchase polishing and edging equipment with the funding. In other areas the funds have provided teaching assistants to support apprenticeship programs.”

In past years, grant money has been used to fund additional instruction needed to supplement training for apprentices who benefit from extra assistance. Other training programs have utilized the additional funds to purchase much-needed supplies and equipment.

California State registered apprenticeship programs are eligible to receive training fund grants based on their geographical location and county, occupation, the region they serve, and the number of apprentices enrolled in their program. All contractors who work on public works projects pay into this fund through prevailing wages, whether they are a member of or signatory to a state registered apprenticeship program.

Application for the Training Fund Grants can be found at www.dir.ca.gov/das/ProgramSponsor.htm.

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. The term “apprenticeship” should not be used to describe an internship, volunteer work or simply an assistant. Visit the DAS web site at www.dir.ca.gov for more information on both the apprentice and the employer sponsored programs.

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