In the following narrative, students at WHSAD and and 2019 graduate, Kenny Singh, share their opinions about the Construction Skills Pre-Apprenticeship Program .
Kenny Singh: I am currently in an architectural window company installing gutters on high rise buildings. I got involved in the apprenticeship program because growing up I always liked working with my hands, and I always wanted to learn a valuable trade. The apprenticeship program will teach me everything I need to learn, such as welding and blue print reading. It’s a really great opportunity to be part of a union and work for the local.
While I was in high school, I was in construction skills. Construction skills helped a lot as it gives you prep for obstacles you can face on site and what to expect and what kind of knowledge you should know such as trade math. Time management is key.
The transition from high school to work was pretty good. I was fully prepared for the job, and construction skills gave me the opportunity, and I took advantage of it. I did every internship I could, and I also knew what I was expected to do. I was nervous at first to meet people and be on heights, but I kept pushing myself.
College isn’t the only way for success. The apprenticeship program is really hard to get into, but WHSAD has a program called construction skills which is a direct entry to get into the apprenticeship program. Coop Tech is a free trade school to learn valuable trades while you’re still in high school. In the apprenticeship program you still have to go to school for a certain amount of years depending on what trade to become a journeyman and make the top rate pay. This is an open opportunity for everyone, so put the pain and hard work in now, and it’ll pay off later. In the next 5-10 years I’ll be a journeyman for local 580. I’ll be making the top rate pay which is $103 an hour for total package with benefits. I see myself working really hard for my future and living the American Dream with a family, house, and sports car.
Andy Miranda: What I learned about the construction skills program is that you learn tasks like painting, electrical, plumbing, etc. Students learn safety procedures for a construction site and machinery. These construction skills require training to prepare us on work sites. This opportunity could be good for us because it could help students who don’t know what they want to do after high school or college, and this could lead us to a good life in the future. I am interested in the program because my dream was to become a carpenter, and I feel like this program could help me achieve my dream. This program requires us to be early to training sites and working sites. This could help me be more responsible and to take this program seriously. The process for applying for this program is to complete the application, take a drug test, to be sure that the applicant is in good physical condition for work, and to be at least 18 years old. With this program I feel like this would help me grow as a person, to take things seriously, and to help better myself for my future.
This program will help assist me after graduation because it would help me think about my choices for what I want to do in my future. This program is helpful because it helps a lot of students, and students who have done this program have had good things to say about program. For example, in a video from the meeting, one post-graduate student said “ this program has helped me to know what I want to do and for my future.” When I heard about what he said, this gave me hope, and I felt a lot confidence, and it made me more interested in the program. programs is important at any high school because this provides a way for students to get to know about programs they seem interested in and it could help them in the future with what they want to do. Another reason why these programs are important to high school is because activity programs provide valuable lessons and skills for practical situations like teamwork, fair play, and hard work. Through participation in activity programs, students learn self-discipline, build self-confidence and develop skills to handle competitive situations.
Hector Ramos: Yesterday I went to a meeting about Construction skills, a -apprenticeship program which prepares you for union jobs. During the meeting, I learned that they have different options such as electrical, plumbing and steamfitting. This really interested me because I’m doing electrical in Co-op Tech, and my plan is to get into the union after high school. The program is basically a 3 hour class once a week for ten weeks during the spring where you learn about being professional, job readiness, trade math (algebra, fractions, decimals and geometry), blueprint reading, and exam preparation. This can prep you for the summer paid hands-on training, where you learn from a master in the specific trade you’re going in for 4 weeks out of your summer. This is really good not only for the experience, but you can get a direct entry into the union. This means that you bypass the other people who are waiting to get into the union while you are higher up on the wait list so when a seat opens up, you will be chosen before anyone else who doesn’t have a direct entry referral. You apply for this program by getting an application, you fill it out and bring it to your guidance counselor or internship coordinator. To be able to stay in Construction Skills, you have to be very punctual. You cannot be later than 30 minutes before your day starts. This will assist me after graduation because my plan is to go into the Local 3 electrical union. This program is not a 100% guarantee, but it is way better than waiting for months just going to the union and getting an application. This is a very good program for high school students because college isn’t for everyone. People may be better with working with their hands instead of doing advanced calculus.
Joshua Cruz: During the meeting with the people from Construction skills, I learned many things. One thing I learned is that the program is like an apprenticeship. I get to work with a person that has a lot of experience in the union that I want to join. He/She would teach me construction based skills in the field that they work in like carpentry, welding, plumbing, etc. Another thing I learned is that I have to get at my work site 30 mins early. So if the time I have to get to the work site is 2:00 then I have to get there at 1:30. The last thing I learned is that you need to take a drug test to be accepted in the program. I am interested in this program because I enjoy working with my hands and making things. Also, I wouldn’t mind learning a new thing to put on my resume and just to have the knowledge and ability to do construction skills. The process for applying and gaining admittance is to be in good physical condition to perform a lot of construction based work. Also you have to have 2 copies of your birth certificate, social security, and photo Id. The last thing is that you have to pass a drug test to be able to join. This program will assist me after I graduate by giving me an easier entry to a union and give me good experience to put on my resume. Having these skills on my resume could help get jobs to notice the skills I learned and could get me hired quickly. Plus if I get into a union, I could be making a lot of money that could help with my personal life. Programs like this program are important to have in high school because we could learn these skills at a young age and could have more experience than someone that is older and is currently learning the skills I already learned. This could get me hired first and faster than the person that just learned the material and skills. Also we can get straight into the field and work and make quick money instead of learning the skills at an older age.
Jeremy Ceballos: Construction Skills is a great opportunity for people who don’t want to go to college. College isn’t for everyone and there is a shortage of skilled workers in the trades. A job in the trades is a great life. There is always going to be work, and the pay is really good, and there is upward mobility. It can easily help someone from a lower income or in poverty to better themselves and gain skills that will give them a middle class way of life. Education and, more specially, college is often thought of as the surest way out of poverty, but a trade job is just as good, and with a program like Construction Skills it’s free so you don’t graduate with thousands of dollars in debt. In Construction Skills, students will be in a pre-apprenticeship program where they will learn and work at the same time. You also would be given priority in the union once you take all the required tests depending on the trade so you don’t have to wait in line and can get straight to work out of the union. Construction Skills will prep you for exams and hands-on training. The goal of Construction Skills is to prepare you for an actual apprenticeship program with the union in your respected trade of choice. Construction Skills provides a path way for students after high school in a field that has built the backbone of our country.