By Allison Gatlin, Valley Press
PALMDALE — Local residents looking to enter the building trades have the opportunity to gain at least a portion of their training without leaving the Valley, thanks to a partnership with the ironworkers union and YouthBuild.
The partnerships, including YouthBuild’s parent organization Advancing Communities Together, will celebrate the formalization of this partnership with Ironworkers Local 433 and 416 today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at 11 a.m. at the Advancing Communities Together site, 38626 9th Street East in Palmdale.
“(Advancing Communities Together) is committed to breaking cycles of poverty through career, educational and housing opportunities,” Associate Director Olivia Cherry said. “We can not do this integral partnerships who are dedicated in providing optimal pathways for success. Having our Ironworkers 433/416 at our site is a monumental step towards progress and vitality in our community.”
Since the organizations first began working together in 2015, they have been successful in training more than 200 local residents through the apprenticeship program. This is a four-year training program that includes classroom and hands-on experience.
There is a need for qualified workers in the building trades, especially since many area agencies have enacted community workforce agreements which have requirements for hiring local workers.
“We didn’t have enough members for the amount of work,” said Johnny Cangey, Ironworkers Local 433 business agent. “It’s an opportunity for guys in the area to be on these projects.”
The formalized partnership provides classroom and office space for the union training program, allowing students to got through much of the process locally. Welding classes are also offered using the shop at Antelope Valley College, he said. The bulk of the hands-on experience still has to be done at sites outside of the Antelope Valley.
“Our goal was to keep them up there,” Cangey said.
The local space also features pictures of those who have been through the program to provide role models for future apprentices.
“We want to keep giving opportunities for these younger generations coming up,” Cangey said.
See post on avpress.com.