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June 15, 2018

Building contractors launch innovative program to boost their workforce

The Maine State Building and Construction Trades Council is launching a Building Pathways Maine Apprenticeship Readiness Program with an eye towards engaging Greater Portland's diverse population by offering a no-cost, three-week intensive program designed to pave the way for adult learners to begin a career in the building trades.

Today is the last day for signing up for the program that will begin on July 9.

The program is modeled after the industry-recognized North America's Building Trades Unions' Apprenticeship Readiness Program and is intended to provide a strong foundation for candidates considering further education and training in the field of construction. Its courses are recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor and will be cover topics that include construction math, health and safety, industry and Trade Awareness and financial responsibility.

Although it does not expressly guarantee employment at the end of the program, the trades council stated that students who successfully complete the training will be prepared for and offered an interview with an affiliated labor union and business partner's joint apprenticeship training program.

"We know that without an all-hands-on deck approach, we'll never be able to meet the skills and personnel gap in Maine's construction industry," said John Napolitano, president of the MSBCTC and business manager for the United Association, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 716. "We're eager to play our part by engaging the community and helping them gain access to the good paying jobs with benefits that our unions and our signatory contractors offer."

The trades council stated in its news release that the multi-trade training program is making a special effort to reach out to Greater Portland's diverse community of immigrants as well as women.

"Our doors are open to anyone who is willing make a commitment to professional growth," said MSBCTC Executive Director Jason J. Shedlock. "But also successfully engaging our target population will provide a two-fold benefit: training women and men so that they can forge ahead on a pathway to the middle class via a rewarding career with benefits for themselves and their families; and working to help diversify a local construction workforce that can benefit from the richness of culture and experience that all of our neighbors bring to our society."

Classes will be held at Portland Adult Education on 14 Locust St. Portland.

For more information or to apply go here.

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