Pre-apprenticeship program prepares construction workers

Taylor Pagán, Staff member

Diablo Valley College’s construction pre-apprenticeship program is now accepting applications. It will give students the labor skills and experience needed to succeed in the work field.

A part of the DVC Career Advancement Academy, the program is advertised on the campus website as a “full time training program designed to assist students in preparation to pass the entrance exams for a variety of apprenticeship programs or gain entry-level employment in the trades.”

This fast-paced, 21.5 unit program is completed in one spring semester and provides students with career-orientated opportunities to network and build their resumes. There is no job guarantee upon completion, but students enrolled in this program may be eligible for a recommendation for direct entrance into apprenticeship programs designed to provide further job opportunities and possible union guarantees.

As stated in the description on the DVC website, the program will “increase confidence” by providing students with “real world work experience.”

“It gives them a really good taste of what it actually takes,” program instructor John Henry said, “All we can do is stimulate it.”

Every course in this program is construction centered, from English classes that feature construction-related language to physical education classes that include moving wheelbarrows full of sand, blocks and 2×12’s.

Roberto Plascencia, 19, plans on applying to the program.

“At first I wasn’t interested in any college classes, but I think this will really benefit my future,” he said.

Erick Cruz, 19, is also not enrolled in any college classes; however, he plans on applying as well.

“I’m a hands-on person,” he said. “My goal is to be a contractor and remodel homes.”

Leo Reyes, 33, is currently number 320 on the wait list for the Carpenters Training Committee of Northern California. Because of DVC’s direct agreements with local unions, Reyes will be applying.

“I believe that I’ll be moved up on the list significantly,” he said.

Gary Blair, a general contractor, is hoping that his 17-year-old son will consider applying to this program upon turning 18.

“I feel it’s a good program,” he said. “It’s good to go out there in the work force.”

With only 30 available spots, Todd Farr, a DVC career pathways manager, advises those interested to attend one of the upcoming meetings.

“We want to make sure it’s a good fit for you and that you are a good fit for the work,” he said.

The program is accepting applications for the spring 2015 semester, and will be giving out additional information from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 20 and Dec. 4 in room 112 of the Engineering Technology building.