SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday announced the launch of the “I Built It-Youth” campaign, a statewide effort to begin training California’s future skilled workforce, which will be instrumental in rebuilding California’s infrastructure. The campaign is a collaboration between the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the California Department of Education (CDE) designed to promote careers in the construction trades to junior and senior high students through apprenticeship opportunities that will allow them to participate in the state’s economic recovery process and prepare them to join the next generation of skilled workers in California.
“Rebuilding California’s infrastructure will require a new generation of skilled workers and this campaign will promote apprenticeships targeted at our youth to prepare them for these important jobs,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “The recent passage of legislation to reform and rebuild the state’s water system is the perfect example of a project that will require the talents and knowledge of these workers. My Administration has worked hard to expand career technical education in our schools and as we continue to make those opportunities available, apprenticeships are the best way to teach our youth and train them for the jobs of tomorrow. Investing in California’s workforce is a key component to our state’s long-term economic recovery.”
As part of the “I Built It-Youth” Campaign, a dynamic and engaging video featuring apprentices working in the field and highlighting the benefits of participating in an apprenticeship program will be distributed to counselors, teachers and educators through junior and senior high schools and youth organizations across the state.
After November 23, the video will be available online at www.IBuiltIt.org. Content currently available on that Web site includes information for youth on what to do if they want to get in the construction trades, what they can do now, especially if they do not have related courses at their school, as well as messages and ideas for parents, teachers and others that work with youth. Schools and other organizations can create their own “I Built It Day” by inviting the local apprenticeship programs in their area to come to the school, showing the video and having the trades give hands-on demonstrations. Availability of the trades depends on the local area.
Additionally, if a school or youth organization is interested in adding construction trades to their career tech education (CTE) curriculum, they can speak with their local trades about developing partnerships. The launch today is an example of how schools that do not have the construction building trades courses as part of their CTE curriculum can expose students to this career path.
“California has many young people whose talents shine while working not only with their hands but with their brains as well. Our efforts today will validate those talents and match them with terrific opportunities in the building and construction trades,” said DIR Director John C. Duncan. “As California and the nation begin the process of recovery, building and construction trades will be an integral part of it and will create future opportunities for today’s students.”
DIR Director John C. Duncan, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, Deputy Secretary of Education Anne McKinney, Acting Secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency Doug Hoffner and Grant High School Principal Craig Murray launched the campaign today at an event at Grant Union High school in Sacramento.
The event featured live, interactive demonstrations of several trades providing students with hands-on experience at various skilled job activities to illustrate the kinds of jobs that must be filled. Participating apprenticeship programs that offered demonstrations included Operating Engineers, Sheet Metal, Carpenters, Pile Drivers, Electricians and Plumbers.
Today the average age of a journeyman is 48 years old with many retiring during the next few years. The average age for an apprentice is 27 years old, nine years from when they could have started to train for a career in building and construction trades. As projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act begin to expand in California, there will be great opportunity to train young people with a technical skill through an apprenticeship program.
In March 2008, the Governor participated in the launch of the “I Built It” Campaign in Fairfield, to promote the critical need of recruiting apprentices to help build the public works projects included in the Governor’s Strategic Growth Plan.
The Division of Apprenticeship Standards provides consultative services to apprenticeship program sponsors, employers, employee organizations and education providers, and nearly any industry or occupation can develop an apprenticeship program.
For more information about California apprenticeship programs, go to: www.dir.ca.gov/das/das.html.