AGC has been spending a lot of time in high schools these days. This could include learning about the Career and Technical Education offerings, attending a career related event promoting Build-Oregon, or introducing one of our contractors to a construction class. One of our more popular Build-Oregon informational resources is the occupational poster it’s great to see it posted in so many classrooms. One question we often receive from teachers and counselors after reviewing the posters is these jobs are great, but when I have an interested student, what path do I lead them on to get one of these jobs? Unfortunately, it’s not a straightforward answer, but as an industry we’re trying to better articulate the different pathways.

Through input from AGC contractors, pre-apprenticeship providers, construction teachers, and counselors, Build Oregon create a Construction Career Map (image below). The goal was to better inform interested job seekers about the paths to a variety of industry related occupations, particularly skilled trades. While not a perfect document, it helps explain the process.

Generally, when someone is interested in pursuing a skilled trade there are four different paths:

Pre-apprenticeship these short term programs are designed to prepare someone for registered apprenticeship. Through hands-on learning and employability training participants will learn about the industry and what it takes to land and retain an apprenticeship or industry job. Click here for more info.

Registered Apprenticeship occupational training that combines supervised, paid, on-the-job training with related classroom instruction. Apprenticeship usually last 2 to 5 years, depending on the occupation, and there are training facilities located across the state. Click here for more info.

Community College check in with your local community college to see what type of construction related courses they offer. This is a great opportunity to build your skill level before pursuing a job. Click here for more info.

Direct Hire sometimes the best option is to grab your resume and start visiting companies, asking if they are hiring. Many trades professionals start in entry level jobs and work their way up. Check out the Build-Oregon job board for open positions.

If you would like more info, please visit or email us at [email protected].

Highlighting Pre-Apprenticeship Programs

Recently, AGC has had the opportunity to visit a few Portland-based pre-apprenticeship programs. This includes Portland Youth BuildersPortland Opportunities Industrialization Center, and Oregon Tradeswomen. These programs are a great opportunity for people who wouldn’t normally consider construction as a career, or who need to increase their skill level to get accepted into registered apprenticeship or an entry-level position. If you are an educator or work with youth, please consider these programs as a next step for those interested in construction. And while Constructing Hope was not visited, it is also a great program and deserves consideration.

AGC has also been a part of meetings and conversations to develop registered pre-apprenticeship programs at the high school level. This includes Lane Education Service District, Gresham Barlow School District, and Medford School District. While each of these education entities are at a different stage in their pre-apprenticeship development, it’s exciting to see education link their career & technical education programs to industry recognized programs. We hope these investments lead to more youth considering construction as a viable career.

If you’re interested in learning more about pre-apprenticeship or how to start a program, visit Bureau of Labor and Industries’ Pre-apprenticeship Toolkit. Below is a video that describes one person’s journey through pre-apprenticeship.

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