The construction industry can be intimidating, especially if you’re a woman. Less than 3% of the trade workforce is comprised of women, that’s about the same as it was 30 years ago. California’s new Road Repair and Accountability Act aims to help with the ongoing worker shortage by enabling women to enter into pre-apprenticeships to give them the experience they need to be taken seriously in the construction world.
The construction workforce is losing more people to retirement every year than are entering into the trade creating a shortage of skilled workers to repair the deteriorating roads, bridges, and highways the country is considering investing in.
The Road Repair and Accountability Act is a $50 billion 10 year building program that will use a gas tax increase to fund the road repairs and bridge maintenance that is desperately needed. The law also includes a $25 million investment for women in pre-apprenticeships.
The main goal of the Road Repair and Accountability Act is to give disadvantaged Californians the tools needed to be accepted into trade apprenticeship schools. They believe that doing this will help reduce the number of people on public assistance and move more people into the workforce.
“This creates an avenue for middle-class jobs and benefits,” said Democratic state senator Jim Beall, “A lot of women shy away from construction because of the work environment. We’re trying to change that good ol’ boy, business as usual, construction culture.”
Usually new construction workers enter the industry by getting into a state-regulated apprenticeships that allow them to join a union right from the start, getting a raise in their salary every time they complete a level of training and eventually they graduate and can very easily find high paying jobs.
Pre-apprenticeships can help train you so you’re better prepared for the highly competitive apprenticeships out there. The class curriculums are devised from local trade unions and their members guest lecture about what it takes to succeed in a particular trade.