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Construction Industry: Pre-Apprenticeship Program | Spokane Homebuilders As

December 03, 2015

November 2015 Regional Workforce News


 

WDC Spokane
 
Regional Workforce Insights
Construction
Fulfilling Demand
Pre-Apprenticeship Program Offered at Community Colleges of Spokane
 
Apprenticeship programs are a great opportunity for on-the-job training, which allow participants to get paid while learning a trade. WorkSource Spokane currently works with 22 construction and aerospace apprenticeship programs to assist with recruitment and retention. Some candidates need additional experience before they can qualify for an apprenticeship. To fill this need, the Community Colleges of Spokane, with partnership from WorkSource, is offering a pre-apprenticeship class called Skilled Trades Preparation (STP), which has been approved by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council. The course begins on January 4, 2016.
 
The 11-week Skilled Trades Preparation course will provide students with the basic knowledge and certifications they need to be successful in applying and preparing for a trade-related apprenticeship. During the course, students will meet representatives from 14 different construction trades including Painters and Finishers, Roofers, Bricklayers, Cement Masons, Plumbers and Steamfitters, Electricians, and Home Builders, among others. Students who complete the class will receive certifications in OSHA-10 Construction Safety, First Aid/CPR, Flagger, and Forklift Operator.
 
The Skilled Trades Preparation program will prioritize training women and other under-represented populations. Three years ago, Rebecca Fox completed a similar pre-apprenticeship class that was supported by a grant through the Spokane Area Workforce Development Council and WorkSource. She is now a second-year electrical apprentice working for Electric City, a Spokane Electrical contractor. Before learning about pre-apprenticeship, Rebecca had not considered a career in the trades - she now enjoys developing her skills for a successful career, while at the same time earning a living wage. WorkSource's Career and Training team is assisting her with tuition to help complete her apprenticeship training program.
 
For more information, contact Brad Johnson at (509) 280-5011.
Progressive Business Focus
Local Home Builders Association Prepares the Workforce for
Increased Job Demand

Over the next five years, the construction industry is projected to add the second most jobs in Spokane County, behind only the healthcare industry. Investing in the development of the area's construction workforce is a smart business decision. The Spokane Home Builders Association (SHBA) manages a Washington State approved Residential Carpenter Apprentice program. SHBA currently has 20 local apprentices enrolled in the program, who after completion will hold a nationally recognized journey-level status. The apprenticeship program combines classroom studies with on-the-job training (OJT) under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional. Much like a college education, it takes several years for an apprentice to become fully trained in their trade. Kim Waseca-Love, SHBA Education and Apprenticeship Director, also notes, "instead of racking up debt while going to college, apprentices start earning money within their first year in the classroom."
 
SHBA apprentices have the ability to work across nine separate Eastern Washington Counties, and they earn a progressively increasing wage as they complete OJT hours and supplemental classes. The apprentices attend night classes once a week at a SHBA training facility in Spokane Valley in order to attain the required 144 annual hours of classroom training. Apprentices learn the most current theory and technical knowledge in the classroom setting, and practice new skills in a simulated setting.
 
"There are many benefits for employers who hire and train apprentices, including an impressive return on investment for their efforts," said Kim. On average, for every one dollar an employer invests in an apprentice, they receive a benefit of $1.38. Formally training employees also reduces turnover by an average of 18% and helps to reduce absenteeism, which can lower overall project costs by an average of 9%.
 
For more information on the SHBA apprenticeship program, please contact Kim Waseca-Love: kimw@shba.com

 


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