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Pierce County Council budgets $300,000 for Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Program

TACOMA, Wash. – Budget season has come to a close, and we want to thank our partners at the Pierce County Council: As part of its first ever biennial budget process, the Council has dedicated $300,000 to the Pierce County Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Program across the next two years.

This generous support of the Pre-Apprenticeship Program will ensure that we can serve Pierce County residents interested in starting careers in the construction trades for years to come. The program will be available to all Pierce County residents at no cost, and we will target recruitment toward individuals who are unemployed and underemployed, individuals of color, and women.

“We’re working with our partners to create more family-wage jobs of all kinds in Pierce County,” said County Executive Bruce Dammeier. “The Pre-Apprenticeship Program is a great way to get our residents prepared to meet the demand for skilled employees.”

The first cohort of the Pre-Apprenticeship Program will officially launch this winter at the new Parkland Career Center at 402 Garfield St. South.

“The Pre-Apprenticeship Program prepares individuals for construction-related careers,” said County Councilman Doug Richardson. “Programs like this one create a strong and talented labor market that make Pierce County a competitive place to work and have a business.”

The construction industry continues to grow in Pierce County, adding 3,000 jobs annually. At the same time, the industry faces an impending silver tsunami of retirements. And with an existing skills gap, a training center dedicated to developing a talent pipeline for construction-related jobs can’t come soon enough.

“We are thrilled that the Pierce County Council has chosen to invest in this program for the next two years,” said WorkForce Central CEO Linda Nguyen. “The level of support we’ve received from diverse sources of funding will allow us to offer full scholarships for this short-term training to any Pierce County resident who is interested in a construction-related career.”

One hundred and sixty trainees annually will go through an 11-week program that uses a standardized curriculum developed by the National Standing Committee on Apprenticeship and Training of North America’s Building Trades Union that will be customized to meet local business needs. Graduates of the center will have the essential skills and technical skills they need to be successful in an apprenticeship program or on a job site, and will be certified in forklift operation, Washington State traffic control flagger, industrial first aid and CPR, and OSHA 10.

The Parkland Career Center, which WorkForce Central unveiled to the public for the first time in November, will also be home to the Foley Family Resource Center, where Pierce County residents can access computers as well as online trainings, certifications and career interest testing at no cost. It will also host a Young Adult Program that will provide residents aged 16-24 who are not employed and are not enrolled in school with in-depth career exploration and connection to internships.

Want to get regular updates about the Pierce County Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Program? Sign up on the Parkland Career Center page.

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