The Constructing Hope Pre-Apprenticeship Program held a graduation ceremony for 13 trainees Dec. 2 at the Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute in Northeast Portland.
Constructing Hope is a faith-based non-profit organization that recruits people who have been in trouble with the law, minorities, and low-income residents of North/Northeast Portland for free classroom and hands-on training to build skills and knowledge of the construction industry. The program is approved by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which administers apprenticeship training programs.
Several union members make up Construction Hope’s board of directors, including Board Chair Bob Boyer, a retired member of the Inland Boatman’s Union; Recording Secretary Jack Roy , a business agent for Laborers Local 296; and Dagoberto Aranda, dispatcher for Laborers Local 296.
The pre-apprenticeship program is taught by staff from Hoffman Structures Inc., including company president Kevin Joeckel. The program runs for nine weeks, with classes held Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon at Irvington Covenant Community in Northeast Portland.
Classes are limited to 16 people per session. Trainees must be at least 18 years of age with a high school diploma or GED and a valid driver’s license. Individuals are selected by an advisory committee after completing an interview and skill assessment. Upon completion of the nine-week training program, Level 1 graduates have direct entry into the Carpenters apprenticeship program.
“As we celebrate the graduation of this class, we are opening registration for our next class beginning Jan. 3, 2011 — and looking forward to a great year,” said Pat Daniels, Constructing Hope’s new executive director.
Daniels recognized the support of partner companies, including Hoffman Structures; Oregon Tradeswomen Inc.; Metropolitan Contractors Improvement Partnership (MCIP); National Association of Minority Contractors Oregon (NAMCO); and funders United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, Portland Development Commission, Oregon Community Foundation, Metro Regional Government, Multnomah County, and the Spirit Mountain Community Fund.
“We have truly been blessed by the support,” he said.