Construction trades program produces first two journeymen

by Chuck Hoven

(Plain Press, June 2007) The Union Construction Industry Partnership-Apprenticeship Skill Achievement Program (UCIP-ASAP), which began in 2003 as part of an effort to get more Clevelanders into high-paying union construction jobs, now has two graduates that have successfully completed union apprenticeships and achieved journeyman status.

 UCIP-ASAP Executive Director Cindy Marizette announced that Anthony Blythers and Anthony Harrison are now journeymen in the Roofers Union, each having worked 3,600 hours on the job and completed 144 hours of classroom work.

UCIP-ASAP was created in 2003 in anticipation of the passage by Cleveland City Council (January 2004) of the Fannie Lewis Law requiring 20% participation of Cleveland residents on projects receiving $100,000 or more of city dollars. The first class began in October of 2003. Marizette said the program has 147 graduates from its first 13 classes. The 13th class graduated in April, and a new class started in May, 2007.

The eight-week classes introduce participants to various unions and teach job readiness skills. The program’s is to move 60 graduates annually into union apprenticeships. Each of 17 participating unions has agreed to reserve 3 slots per year to graduates of the program.

Of the first 147 graduates of the program, 105 are still with the unions where they were placed.  Seven of the eleven graduates of the April class are still waiting to be placed in an apprenticeship. Union apprenticeships range from 2-5 years. Most apprenticeships require a certain number of hours both on the job and in the classroom to achieve journeyman status.

The 105 apprenticeships the UCIP-ASAP program has produced since October of 2003 are with 12 of the 17 participating unions.

A listing by union of the number of apprenticeships is as follows: Bricklayers/Ceramic Tile Layers – 2; Carpenters – 28: Cement Finishers – 1; Electricians and Telecommunications Installers – 9 in both unions; Iron Workers – 10; Building Laborers and Heavy Equipment Laborers – 23 total in both unions; Operating Engineers – 1; Painters – 7; Pipefitters – 14; Roofers/Waterproofers – 5 and Sheet Metal Workers – 5.

Thus far no graduates have been placed in the Floor Layers, Glaziers, Millwrights or Plumbers Unions. Marizette attributes this to various factors. Marizette says the math requirements have been a stumbling block to placing graduates in the Plumbers Union. She is hopeful that one of the graduates of the April class will qualify as the program’s first apprentice in the Plumbers Union.

. Six Max Hayes seniors are currently enrolled in the school’s Construction School to Apprenticeship Program. Marizette says she hopes the next class to be held this summer will include graduates from Max Hayes High School who have focused on the construction trades. The Board of UCIP-ASAP plans to vote on June 15th on a proposal to include up to 20 Max Hayes graduates in the UCIP-ASAP program each year.

Marizette says she hopes to bring the Max Hayes students into the program and its job guarantees this summer either through a class of their own or as part of the next UCIP-ASAP adult class.  Marizette expects the students would be better prepared than many of the adults that have entered the UCIP-ASAP program. Marizette says,  “I’m very excited about it (the proposal to include Max Hayes graduates), I have great expectations for it to be successful.”

Editor’s Note: For more information about UCIP-ASAP call 432-7037.


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