Construction pre-apprenticeship program nets County grant

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A trades education program in San Mateo County that has graduated 235 students since 2014 and placed 156 of them in union construction apprenticeships has been bolstered by a $100,000 grant, the county announced.

Requested by Supervisor Dave Pine and unanimously approved by the board on Tuesday, June 4, the grant will support operational costs and deliver at least one course in 2020 for the Trades Introduction Program (TIP San Mateo), which is administered by the San Mateo County Union Community Alliance. The certificated pre-apprenticeship course exposes trainees to a wide variety of trades and helps them choose and plan an appropriate career path for their skills and interests.

“Apprenticeship placements include the following trades:  electricians, plumbers, sheet metal workers, plasterers, laborers, carpenters, elevator constructors, sound and communication, sign and display, glaziers, drywall, pipefitters and automotive,” the County said in a statement.

Pine called the program “highly effective”and a “remarkable way to introduce candidates to a range of well-paying construction jobs and provide a pipeline for needed professionals that are in short supply in the Bay Area.”

“Without TIP, these opportunities might be out of reach for many local residents,” Rayna Lehman, director of AFL-CIO Community Services for the San Mateo County Central Labor Council, said in the statement.

The $100,000 grant will be funded by Measure K, the 20-year extension of the countywide half-cent sales tax.

TIP is a regional partnership that includes the San Mateo Building Trades Council, San Mateo County Community College District, College of San Mateo, Bay Area Apprenticeship Coordinators Association, NOVA Workforce Board, SMCUCA, and Working Partnerships USA.