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All across America, in communities large and small, North America's Building Trades Unions are working with construction owners, contractors, government officials, and community leaders to fashion together ways in which economic development and construction investments can be leveraged to provide career training opportunities for local residents.

The Baltimore/DC Building Trades have been partnering with Government, Community and Contractor partners to establish many apprenticeship readiness programs in our region including in Baltimore City with Goodwill, Maryland State, Prince George's County and DC Department of Youth and DC Department of Employment Services.  

Because of our unique relationship with our long standing registered apprenticeship programs, our employer partners and experience we have been able place over 80% of the participants of the apprenticeship readiness programs into apprenticeship programs for the individual to start their career in the construction industry. 

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Apprenticeship Readiness 


Apprenticeship Readiness programs are workforce training programs that prepare participants to apply for, enter, and successfully complete a building trades apprenticeship program.

In short, they are a pathway into a middle-class career in the construction industry. 

Construction is an industry that will always need skilled workers. And it is one of the last remaining industries in the U.S. where the labor cannot be outsourced.

Economists and industry analysts are predicting a powerful surge in demand for skilled craft labor over the next 15-20 years, as baby boomers retire and construction spending rises significantly.  As a result, there is increasing opportunity for workers to enter apprenticeships.
Many people are drawn to the building and construction trades because they enjoy an active, hands-on job that contains variety, and is one in which they can physically see the outcome of their work. Others cite a deep satisfaction with being part of an important project in the community, or being trusted to tackle a challenging portion of a high-profile project that allows you to showcase your high level of skill.

The Union Advantage

It’s easy to find a job in construction, but becoming a skilled journey worker via a joint industry registered apprenticeship program is a career choice that will provide a lifetime of benefit.

Each union affiliated with North America's Building Trades Unions has its own apprenticeship program.  In total, there are over 30 specialized apprenticeship programs.

Unlike any other program of its kind, union apprenticeship allows apprentices to enjoy the benefits of an earn-while-you-learn education and career training. Once accepted into the program, apprentices learn their trade and attend a specific number of hours of classroom training, all hours of which are paid. This classroom training, which is directly related to their new career, provides the necessary safety and entry-level trade skills. On the job-site, apprentices work with a skilled journey worker, learning how to become the very best in their craft.  

And training doesn’t stop at journey-level status.  In the union construction industry, all craft workers are strongly encouraged to continually upgrade their skills and further their education, learning and growing throughout their careers.

Multi-Craft Core Curriculum


In 2007, the National Standing Committee on Apprenticeship and Training of North America's Building Trades Unions identified common elements from all building trades' apprenticeship programs, without regard to a particular craft.  


In other words, a "common core curriculum."  This was the basis for the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3), which is increasingly being used as the foundation for pre-apprenticeship programs across America.

The specific topics that are taught in the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum include:

  • General orientation to apprenticeship

  • Intro to the construction industry

  • CPR and first aid

  • OSHA 10-hour safety certification

  • Blueprint reading

  • Applied mathematics for construction

  • Identifying and preventing sexual harassment and discrimination

  • History of the construction industry

  • The heritage of the American worker

  • How to interview effectively 

  • Green construction techniques and standards


The Multi-Craft Core Curriculum provides a gateway to a  career in any of the Building Trades; from high school to joint registered apprenticeship to community and four-year college and beyond. 

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