Arizona Masonry Contractors Association's (AMCA) Apprenticeship Program
August 8 marked the beginning of the 2005-2006 school year for the Arizona Masonry Contractors Association's (AMCA) Apprenticeship Program and, for the second year in a row, they have started 20 new apprentices. Add them to the 19 second-year apprentices and nine third-year apprentices and these 48 men make AMCA's largest number of apprentices in the history of the program.
Of course, these 20 new apprentices plan to make it to graduation like the three who graduated this year. Rey David Flores and Humberto Cardenas of Pioneer Masonry, and Carlos Nevarez of Rhino Masonry, were recognized at a dinner meeting on Sept. 27. Among the attendees at the graduation were guest speakers Dr. Sally Downey, superintendent of the East Valley Institute of Technology and Scott Soldat, director of Arizona SkillsUSA.
Apprentices in the AMCA program attend class one night per week and lab on Saturdays from August through May for three years. During those three years, apprentices learn many aspects of the trade, from basic blocklaying and blueprint reading to brick patterns and arches. Upon completion of the training, each apprentice receives a journeyperson card from the U.S. Department of Labor. Most AMCA apprentices go on to become forepersons or superintendents for their sponsoring contractor, sometimes before training is even completed.
The program is approved by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Arizona Department of Commerce's Apprenticeship Services, which means that certain guidelines must be followed. The apprentices must complete a minimum of 144 classroom/lab hours and 2,000 on-the-job hours per year. Apprentices must sign an agreement that indentures them to their sponsoring contractors for the entire three years of the program. If they leave their employer voluntarily, they cannot remain in the apprenticeship program without their former employer's permission. Their employer, in return, must agree to give them "wall time" to further their training and meet AMCA's minimum wage criteria.
For more information on the AMCA apprenticeship program, visit www.azmasonry.net, or call (602) 262-0510.
About the Author
The Arizona Masonry Contractors Association was founded in the 1950s to service and protect the interests of Masonry Contractors throughout Arizona. Since that time it has developed a nationally recognized and US Department of Labor approved Apprenticeship Program, an Industry recognized Certification Program and an effective and rewarding Safety Program. For more information, visit www.azmasonry.net.