In February, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded $1.1 million to the Children’s Cabinet to fund the next three years of Washoe YouthBuild—a program that provides pre-apprenticeship training and job placement in the building and construction trades for at-risk youth between the ages of 18-24 in Washoe County. Washoe YouthBuild expects to serve 60 participants, focusing on youth who have dropped out of school.
“The program will be about 30 weeks,” says Washoe YouthBuild program director Jeremy Stocking. “We’re working with the local building trades to provide vocational skills training. Participants will tour the building trades training facilities, visit the union hall, and we’re working with the Laborers Local 169 and the Painters and Allied Trades Local 567 to set up direct entry for program graduates.”
The Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada is excited to partner with Washoe YouthBuild to train the next generation of trades professionals. The program uses the national pre-apprenticeship program model and materials (known as multi-core craft curriculum, or MC3) developed by North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU). The MC3 curriculum trains participants on the basics of working in the construction industry, and includes modules like:
Construction Industry Orientation
Tools and Materials
Construction Health and Safety
Basic Math for Construction
Heritage of the American Worker
Diversity in the Construction Industry
“We’re very lucky to have this program here in the greater Reno-Sparks area,” says Rob Benner, business representative for the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada. “It augments the local skilled workforce and helps provide a pipeline of trained candidates for our growing construction industry, it helps to create healthier communities, and most importantly, it gives our local youth great career options they might not have otherwise had access to.”
Dian VanderWell, apprenticeship recruiter for the Northern Nevada Apprenticeship Coordinators’ Association, says she hopes the program will reach out to young women, especially. “Across the country, the union building trades are working hard to push out the message that construction isn’t a career that’s mostly for men. The Washoe YouthBuild can be such a great opportunity to engage young women in the trades, and show them first-hand that this is a good-paying career they can support themselves and a family on and be proud of.”
Other Washoe YouthBuild partners include Truckee Meadows Community College, Community Services Agency, and Truckee Meadows Habitat for Humanity. For more information on Washoe YouthBuild, contact Jeremy Stocking at Children’s Cabinet at 775-443-4501 or visit http://www.childrenscabinet.org/family-youth/youth-education-and-training/washoe-youthbuild/.