Apprenticeships teach students skills that sustain the community

Sprinkler Fitters Local 669 Recruitment and Outreach Specialist Tim Coleman joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the importance of registered apprenticeship programs.

The interview debuted on Nov. 26, 2021 and is part of a special “best of” AWF segment.

Coleman explained why President Biden signed the infrastructure bill during National Apprenticeship Week (Nov. 14-20), as the law will create incredible opportunities for apprentices in the building trades.

He said Local 669 is different from other UA local unions, as it has nationwide jurisdiction that represents 15,000 members in 48 states. Its Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee trains students on how to install, test, maintain and repair fire suppression systems. Their five-year apprenticeship program includes 10,000 hours of on-the-job training and 1,200 hours of technical instruction.

Over the past few years, Coleman has noticed a shift in the receptiveness of the trades when he visits high schools and vocational schools. Teachers and guidance counselors increasingly encourage apprenticeship as a viable alternative to traditional college. Apprentices earn while they learn and do not incur student debt. The UA’s registered apprenticeship program even offers free college credit, he added.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about apprenticeships and Local 669:


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