Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute, the Apprenticeship Training Center for Union Carpenters, and Portland Community College, with funding and support from Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), have a diverse group of participants in their third day of Carpenter Boot Camp today.
Oregon Labor and Industries Commissioner Brad Avakian took the opportunity to visit the one-week program that teaches high school and college age youth what it means, and what it takes, to be a carpenter in Oregon. He visited a High-Tech Jobs Group at PCC’s Willow Creek Center last month to give students advice on the job market. The Boot Camp was made possible by PCC’s Evening Trades Apprenticeship Preparation (ETAP) Program.
“Apprenticeship is a great career move, because you’re combining skill training with time on-the-job, making a living wage,” Avakian said. “My grandfather was an immigrant carpenter who helped build not just buildings but communities – and this program is a great opportunity for young Oregonians to get a better sense of whether this path to a living wage career is right for them.”
As commissioner, Avakian oversees the state’s system of registered apprenticeship. In the last 50 months, BOLI has registered more than 6,200 new apprentices in programs that keep adult workers learning and earning a living wage at the same time. Avakian is also leading the drive to create more opportunities for young people to experience the trades and consider potential living wage careers that aren’t often discussed in middle and high schools.
“We’re glad to be part of a team with BOLI and PCC to help showcase what we do and why it’s valuable,” said John Steffens, Training Director at Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute. “We’re eager to work with anyone who wants to learn and work hard and get on the path to a living wage career.”
Overseeing the state’s Apprenticeship and Training Division at BOLI and chairing the Oregon State Apprenticeship and Training Council, the Labor and Industries Commissioner plays a major role in Oregon’s workforce development system.