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January 10, 2006 7:19 AM CST

New Programs to Help People Obtain Building Trades Jobs


On Nov. 8, Mayor Richard M. Daley joined representatives of the City Colleges of Chicago and the Builders Association in announcing new programs to help more young people, especially minorities and women, obtain jobs in the building trades.

During a news conference at the City Colleges' Dawson Technical Institute, the mayor announced, "Together, we can provide the young working people of our city with real opportunity ? the opportunity to build a future for themselves and their families, while they're building homes, offices, libraries, police stations, streets, sewers and other vital infrastructure for the people of Chicago."

Dawson Tech offers courses in bricklaying, cement masonry, carpentry, plumbing and welding. But, Daley noted, "Completing a course doesn't guarantee you a job. You still have to be sponsored for a union apprenticeship ? and sponsorships are not easy to find."

Daley said an ordinance approved on Nov. 1 by the city council will provide financial incentives to companies that agree to sponsor Dawson graduates for union apprenticeships. Under the ordinance, a city contractor will receive credits if it agrees to sponsor graduates of Dawson's Construction Program for union apprenticeships. The credits will be applied toward the company's next bid on a city project. Daley said the size of the credit will depend on the number of apprentices the company sponsors. It could be worth tens of thousands of dollars on a typical bid.

The Builders Association's Construction Career Opportunity Program seeks to hire up to 50 candidates a year from Dawson Tech and provide additional employment opportunities for candidates who complete training programs provided by community-based organizations.

About the Author

Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at


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