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Title:Outcomes of Two Construction Trades: Pre-Apprenticeship Programs: A Comparison
Author(s):Worthen, Helena; Haynes, Anthony
job training
construction trades unions
workforce intermediaries
Abstract:Jobs in unionized construction trades are among the few forms of employment that provide significant, rapid upward mobility to people who fall into the category of "hard to employ." However, such jobs have also historically been racially exclusive. In many cities, community-based organizations have acted as workforce intermediaries to address this issue of access. Judging the success of these programs is difficult. This paper compares and offers explanations for the different outcomes of two construction trade pre-apprenticeship programs that targeted a hard-to-employ demographic. Both were run by the Building Bridges Project of the Chicago Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues. Both were intended to increase minority access to unionized building trade apprenticeship programs, and ultimately to union work in construction. The self-selection process, the high level of support provided to participants in one class but not the other, and a close organizational relationship to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) at a time when that union explicitly linked training with organizing made the critical difference in outcomes. These factors should be considered when planning future jobs programs. A jobs program designed to open up access to good jobs for the hard-to-employ should proceed by self-selection, substantial support, and viable links to the entities that control access to the work such as, in this case, union apprenticeship programs.
Issue Date:2009-01-01
Series/Report:Journal of Community Practice
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed:is peer reviewed
Sponsor:Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity through the Building Bridges Project of the Chicago Interfaith Committee on Worker Issues
Rights Information:Author Posting. (c) 'Copyright Holder', 2009.
This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of 'Copyright Holder' for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Community Practice, Volume 17 Issue 1, January 2009. doi:10.1080/10705420902856191 (
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-06-05

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