California State Pipe Trades Council
"As California's consumer watchdog, we applaud the California State Pipe Trades Council for its record of pro-consumer advocacy." - Richard Holober, Executive Director, Consumer Federation of Cailfornia

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Some High School Graduates Take Pass on College, Head Straight for Trade School

Local Plumbers' Union Apprentice Program Offers College Credit, Chance to Achieve the California Dream

Over 50,000 Californians participate in union apprentice programs every year

California - Every year, nearly four hundred thousand young Californians finish high school and enjoy their last summer vacation before heading off to college. But for the nearly two hundred thousand who aren't going to a four-year university or community college - either because they choose not to or can not afford it - what options are available to them? For tens of thousands each year, a union apprentice program is an important, viable option.

Partnering with community colleges, the State Pipe Trades union runs a five-year program comprised of night classes two to three times per week and paid, on-the-job training. The opportunity to earn a paycheck throughout training is a necessity for many apprentices, particularly for graduating students who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. After finishing the program, apprentices receive an Associates degree. Most importantly, the apprenticeship program ensures that tens of thousands of young people every year have a shot at their version of the California dream.

"We take our responsibility to California's future seriously," said Ted Reed, executive director of the California State Pipe Trades Council. "We train the next generation of California's blue collar workers, providing an opportunity for youth who aren't college bound to have a good job, health care and a secure retirement."