Building Up Community

Last week we celebrated the end of the Winter 2017-2018 Apprenticeship Preparation Program semester, and the beginning of our graduates’ union construction careers. Between our 16 promising graduates, keynote speaker Dominick Correy of Senator Portantino’s Office, and special honoree Priscilla Chavez of PCL Construction, it was a star-studded event.

We heard from APP alum Francisco Desiongco, who shared how he became a journeyman carpenter. Dominick Correy inspired graduates with his journey from incarceration to working in government, reminding them — “Don’t let a felony stop you.” Priscilla from PCL received special recognition for creating pathways to union employment for our graduates. PCL is a special company because, in Priscilla’s words, “We don’t just build in the community, we build up the community.” Priscilla had words of inspiration too — “What a great day to not be visiting someone in prison or mourning someone who’s passed away,” she reminded us, “but to be celebrating a beautiful moment.”

Many of our graduates are already seeing success. Jeremy, who spoke about his experience overcoming addiction at the graduation ceremony, landed interviews with the LA Community College District and LAX. Alondra got the highest score on the IBEW Local 11 entry test we’ve ever seen, and is well on her way to becoming a union electrician. Nayeli and Angel are both working full time as union carpenters. We are so proud of all our graduates’ accomplishments, and we can’t wait to see where they go from here.

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