Apprenticeships have been critical to the workforce since ancient times. In the first written law, the Babylonians included a clause that required craftsmen to teach their trade to the younger generation. By the 13th century guilds had developed for trades that controlled the quality and teaching of highly prized skills. An apprentice would have to work for seven years to even be eligible to enter the guild. Thankfully, our modern apprenticeships are more manageable. Wisconsin introduced the first modern apprenticeship as we know it where students would receive on the job training in a specific field. In 1937, Congress made apprenticeship official when they passed the Fitzgerald Act, creating the current registered apprenticeship programs overseen by the Department of Labor.
At Fransen Pittman, we have been participating in the CITC (Construction Industry Training Council) Apprentice Program since its inception in 1998 and are still going strong. Our apprentices have gone on to become top team members at FP and are incredibly skilled at what they do. Some have even gone back to become instructors in the CITC programs. We are in awe of our apprentices’ dedication throughout the program as they work on jobsites during the day and attend their classes at night. For carpentry, each apprentice will receive 576 hours of classroom instruction and complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job training over four years. By the end of the program, they are fully trained as a carpenter and have several avenues for career advancement.
At our celebratory lunch this Friday, our apprentices were able to share some of their favorite jobsite moments as well as their favorite parts about the building experience. Fernando Rangel, a carpenter apprentice who worked on Scott Carpenter Water Park, stated, “I loved working on something that is so visible to the community. I definitely tested out the flume slides for safety before the park opened to the public. I was the first one to ever go down!”. Braxton Potter spoke about the impact of a career in construction: “Working in construction is awesome because I’m not just selling something, I get to have an impact on the community. I can drive by a building and say ‘I worked on that’”.
We loved celebrating our apprentices this week and we can’t wait to see the impact they will have and the projects they will build!