Rchard Bermack Photography


Carpenters Training Committee
for Northern California’s
Organized Labor
Mar 2009

The Carpenters Training Committee for Northern California’s apprenticeship center in Pleasanton is one of four in Northern California. The others are in Fresno, Fairfield, and Morgan Hill. Approximately 3,000 apprentices are enrolled in northern California, and 1,500 of them take classes at the Pleasanton center.

The program offers apprenticeship training and journey level re-training for the following crafts: carpenters, millwrights, pile drivers, scaffold erectors, acoustical installers, insulators, hardwood floor layers, and shinglers. Apprentices start at $20 per hour. High wages are part of the draw, but less than half the apprentices who start finish the five-year program.

The problem is not just learning the skills. “Attitude outweighs aptitude in this trade,” Instructor Bob McAndrews explains. The guy who shows up every day to work, rain or shine, is much more likely to succeed than someone who has more skills but heads for Tahoe in the middle of a job if the snow is good. Unreliability is a typical complaint instructors hear from employers about apprentices. For that reason, the center provides life skills classes emphasizing the need for sound work ethics and an understanding of how to budget money and time. The center is also developing a pre-apprenticeship program to screen applicants and provide basic skills to start them off on the right track. More information about the carpenters’ training center can be found at www.ctcnc.org.