Pre-apprenticeship program seeks to improve conditions in D.C. metro area through the trades

Communities have seen the benefits of promoting building trades careers among local youths. The apprenticeship model works well for those not wanting to take on the burden of student debt.

Community Services Agency Client Services Coordinator Sylvia Casaro Dietert explained what they are doing in the D.C metro area to promote building trades careers on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.

Community Services Agency

The Community Services Agency was designed to serve the community at-large. They work to improve the lives of workers and families through human and social services.

Additionally, they work to empower unions, who they say make communities a better place to live, work and raise a family.

Building Futures Pre-Apprenticeship program

She said that many young people are pushed to go to college. Influences around them insist it is the only way people will be able to get a good job with family supporting wages. She believes this is a complete disservice.

Their pre-apprenticeship program shows young people that the building trades are a viable career and provide a wage and benefits package that is often better than what is earned by their college graduated peers.

The program offers one-on-one, hands-on training in most aspects of the construction industry. Training includes construction skills training, foundation math, blueprint reading, safety, workers rights, responsibility on the job, labor history and more.

The program is designed for low-income D.C. residents 21 years and older, including women and veterans.

She said these programs highlight the union difference by showing people that a union is good for everyone in the workplace.


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