Calif. launches apprentice jobs project

March 10, 2008 9:06:19 PM PDT
To get the California economy moving again, Governor Schwarzenegger helped launched a new jobs campaign -- the "I built it" campaign to train thousands of new workers for public works projects around the state.

"We want to get 200,000 new apprentices in the next 10 years," said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) California.

On Monday, Governor Schwarzenegger launched a statewide campaign to recruit & train skilled trade workers.

"As part of the governor's strategic growth initiative is going to provide 18,000 new jobs for every billion dollars of bond," said Vicki Bradshaw from the California Department of Labor.

"The bond money that you were instrumental in passing is hitting the streets and putting people to work," said Danny Curtin from the California Council of Carpenters.

The governor introduced himself to a class of apprentice carpenters.

"We need people who are skilled and know how to work with their hands," said Governor Schwarzenegger.

The governor says by 2015, California will need 73,000 more carpenters and 25,000 more electricians and pipe fitters to complete a wide range of public works projects, from highways to water treatment to schools.

"And it's not just carpenters, it's iron workers, operating engineers, laborers, cement finishers, all the building trades are getting ready to experience some of the best times over the last decades in a down economy," said Bob Alvarado from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council.

Potential apprentices can sign up to work on a local project. They only have to buy books. The training is free and they immediately get a full time job that pays around $25 an hour.

"A lot of programs have benefits, health and welfare, they have pension programs," said Glen Forman from the California Division of Apprenticeship standards.

Training programs, county by county, can be found online. These apprentice carpenters say they see lots of opportunity.

"With the journeymen all being baby boomers, they're all retiring," said one carpenter.

The retirements and the sudden surge in public works projects make this recruiting effort imperative.

"This is going to be historic for California. We're going to push out as much money as quickly as possible because we want to rebuild and because we know it will stimulate the economy," said Governor Schwarzenegger.