355 Skilled Construction Laborers Added to Southern California’s Workforce

Construction Craft Laborer Apprentices Earn Journeyperson Status

January 13, 2015

AZUSA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Southern California’s construction industry has been upgraded, thanks to the Laborers’ Training and Retraining Trust of Southern California (The Laborers’ School). On Saturday, January 10th, 355 men and women earned their Journeyperson credentials after completing the same Construction Craft Laborer Apprenticeship that has trained more than 3,000 safe, skilled construction craft laborers over the past eleven years.

Armando Esparza, Business Manager of the Southern California District Council of Laborers (SCDCL), commended the graduates. “These graduates committed a lot of personal time and put in many hours of training, in the classroom and on the job to get to this point. I cannot thank them enough. Their dedication to the apprenticeship program strengthens this union and provides a tangible benefit to the entire construction industry.”

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 every segment of the construction industry and receive Cal/OSHA required certifications and equipment endorsements.

2013 apprenticeship graduate Jayson Baiz stated, “I was a former gang member, had drug and alcohol problems and just got out of prison. Nobody wanted to give me a second chance, but I was a changed man. I started going to church and little by little people began to see that I had changed. From there, I got into the Laborers’ apprenticeship program. It wasn’t easy and I made a lot of sacrifices, but I did it. I became a journeyman. The Laborers’ Union and the apprenticeship program have given me the chance to go from housing projects to owning my own home and providing a good life for my family. I hope these graduates realize what kind of opportunity this apprenticeship program has given them and to not let any obstacle stop them from reaching their goals.”

Graduating from apprenticeship doesn’t end training for journeyperson laborers. “We challenge laborers to continue their education at the training center to broaden their opportunities. We dare them to dream of becoming a foremen or superintendent or to start their own construction company,” said Laborers’ School Executive Director Scott Gordon.

The Laborers’ Training and Retraining Trust of Southern California is a partnership between the Laborers and their signatory contractors. The Laborers’ School operates 18 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 Laborers’ training program, as well as the 70 other training funds throughout North America, has consistently provided a highly skilled and knowledgeable laborer,” said Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) VP and Pacific Southwest Regional Manager Rocco Davis. “These apprenticeship graduates are proof to their employers and the construction industry that the Laborers’ Union provides quality training that exceeds industry demands and that this training will create the workforce of the future.”