Laborer Apprentices Earn Journeyperson Status

January 20, 2016 7:00 AM EST

AZUSA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Laborers’ Training and Retraining Trust of Southern California (The Laborers’ School) has strengthened Southern California’s construction industry once again. On Saturday January 16th, 449 men and women earned their journeyperson credentials after completing a Laborer Apprenticeship Program in Southern California. 432 apprentices graduated from the Construction Craft Laborer program while another 17 graduated from the Laborers Landscape & Irrigation program in 2015.

“These graduates sacrificed a great deal of personal time and put in numerous hours of training, in the classroom and on the job to earn journeyperson credentials” said Armando Esparza, Business Manager of the Southern California District Council of Laborers (SCDCL). “Their dedication illustrates their value to the construction industry and strengthens this union. I thank them and congratulate them on their accomplishment.”

Before entering the apprenticeship program, candidates must attend an orientation, pass a drug test, and complete a boot camp to ensure they are ready for the physical demands of the industry. Once enrolled, each apprentice must complete 224 hours of classroom instruction and log at least 3,000 hours of on-the-job training to become a journeyperson. Apprentices are exposed to virtually all segments of the construction industry and receive Cal/OSHA required certifications and equipment endorsements.

Ricardo Ayala, owner of Ayala Engineering recognized the Laborers’ Training Center and its apprenticeship program. “The Laborers’ apprenticeship program is a fantastic resource to companies like mine,” he said. “The apprentices receive first-class training. The training gives them the skills for the job, but the program also provides them the dedication they need to be successful. As an owner of a small construction company, I can use all the skilled and dedicated employees I can get.”

“The apprentices truly earn their journeyperson status because this program is not a walk in the park,” said Scott Gordon, Laborers’ School Executive Director. “About half of all apprentices that enroll, either drop out or are dismissed from the program. But for those that do graduate, it doesn’t necessarily mark the end of training for them,” stressed Gordon. “We encourage apprentices to continue their education at the training center to expand their career opportunities. Determined laborers have the ability to move up to management positions or even start their own construction company like Ricardo of Ayala Engineering.”

The Laborers’ Training and Retraining Trust of Southern California is a partnership between the Laborers and their signatory contractors. The Laborers’ School operates 12 facilities in Southern California that provide more than 100,000 hours of training every year. The Laborers’ School also offers:

– Five mobile training units that bring training to any work site or location
– More than 140 courses that meet or exceed industry standards
– Three California-Apprenticeship-Council-approved apprenticeship programs
– Instructors credentialed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
– Training processes that are accredited (AC 371) by the International Accreditation Service, an independent, non-profit accreditation body

“This training program, along with the 70 other Laborers’ training funds throughout North America, are integral to our union and the industry,” said Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Vice President and Pacific Southwest Regional Manager Rocco Davis. “These graduates are the workforce of today and the next 25 years. And I wholeheartedly believe that our union, our employers and the entire Southern California construction industry is in good hands with each and every apprentice that graduates from this program.”