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The California Field Ironworkers Apprenticeship Trust Fund entered into an unprecedented two-year partnership with the California Community Colleges Economic Development and Workforce Preparation Program to provide career opportunities for students pursuing welding certifications. Jose Milian, vice chancellor of the California Community Colleges, recognized the growing demand for certified welders in the construction and industrial industries and need for finding career opportunities for welding students enrolled at California Community Colleges. The initial two-year partnership provides the California Apprenticeship Program with funding of $500,000 for student training, welding certifications and potential career opportunities with signatory contractors specializing in steel erection and shop fabrication.
Students Benefit From Welding Partnership- 4/7/2009
Milian recognized the expertise of California Ironworkers and called on Dick Zampa Jr., director of the California Field Ironworkers Apprenticeship and Journeyman Retraining Program, to meet the challenge. The mission statement of the California Program is "to ensure that Ironworkers are trained to the highest level of safety and productivity." Students from the California Community Colleges were required to provide a negative test in the IMPACT Substance Abuse Testing Program and have transportation to attend 59 classroom training sessions at the Ironworkers Regional Training Center located in Benicia, CA. This resulted in 60 welding certifications. The primary training objectives established for the classroom sessions included:
Standley thanked representatives of the California Community Colleges for reaching out to the Ironworkers to establish a welding training partnership. He commended the 35 graduating students and their family members attending for their hard work and support for completing the welding training and certification courses during the recent months. He encouraged all students to continue their apprenticeship with the Ironworkers and pursue a promising career as a Union Ironworker that provides members with health and welfare, pension and other benefits for their family members.
McEuen congratulated the graduating class for the hard work and dedication that brought them to graduation night. He provided assurance to the graduating class that contractors rely on certified welders to perform many important operations during the steel erection and fabrication process. Eleven of the 35 graduating welding students have already found employment with Union Ironworker contractors in northern California.
Zampa, Jr. and Frances presented each of the 35 graduating students of the Ironworkers Apprenticeship Preparedness Multi-Trades Welding Program with a special certificate of completion and thanked them for their dedication to completing the training course and objectives for the welding program. Frances noted the many obstacles they had to overcome to make it to graduation. During the classroom training sessions, Zampa Jr. and the welding instructors worked closely with students to meet the goals of the welding partnership with the California Community Colleges and the mission statement of the California Ironworkers Apprenticeship Training Program. This partnership also addresses many of the "Key Performance Indicators" that general secretary Walter Wise established for evaluating the performance of District Councils and local unions to increase market share and membership throughout the country.