Young People Can Learn a Trade and Earn a Wage this Summer

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This summer, from July 14 to August 8,
there will be a construction-training program
giving priority to minority and female
youth. This is part of a larger attempt to
attract more youth to the building trades
unions and job sites. The summer program
is meant only to be the start to a program
that will continue through the school year.
Students will participate in specialized
hands-on training, classroom instruction,
and tours at various sites.
The focus will be on the development of
skills, safety practices, and the kinds of
attitudes and behaviors that will be conducive
to a successful career in the building
trades. These are trades that pay very
well. Journeymen, that is to say people
who have completed apprenticeships, start
at $32.40 per hour for brick masons,
$30.61 for carpenters, $36.19 for
plumbers and pipefitters, and $33.80 for
electricians. Apprentices start with less,
ranging from $15.44 to $20.90. But even
in those early years, that is still a very good
starting wage. The great thing here is that
these jobs will always be here. They cannot
be exported abroad!
While young people in the summer
program will not get the kind of wages that
apprentices and journeymen receive, but
they will be paid $7.50 an hour to learn!
They will also get high school elective
credit in Residential Carpentry. In addition
to a professional vocational education
teacher, students will also be paired with a
mentor who will be with them through
actual hands-on job experience.
Again, this is a program that gives priority
to minority youth and girls. Requirements
to enter the program include:
• The person must be a high school
junior or senior enrolled in a
Champaign, Rantoul, or Urbana
high school.
• The student must be at least 16
years old at the beginning of the
program. That is the legal age at
which people can work with
power tools.
• The student must have a good
school attendance record.
• The student must have no major
school discipline action on record.
• The student must fill in an application
and complete an interview.
Applications for this program are available
at the high school guidance offices in
Champaign, Urbana, or Rantoul, or they can
be obtained by sending a request to lmcdonald@ If you are an interested
and eligible young person looking for a positive
summer experience in which you can
earn money and prepare for a well-paid
career, or if you know someone who is, act
quickly to secure a position in this exciting
new learning and earning experience.

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