Congressman Garamendi Joins Local Labor & Business Leaders in Celebration of New Job Training Program in Vacaville
FAIRFIELD, CA – It was a good day for workers and employers in Solano County yesterday at the grand opening of the Sheet Metal Workers Apprenticeship Training Center in Fairfield. It is a partnership between SMW Local 104 and local contractors, funded through their joint Bay Area Industry Training Fund. Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a long-time champion for apprenticeship programs, was honored to deliver remarks at the ceremony to congratulate Local 104 and their partner contractors on the opening of the facility.
“This is a great opportunity for men and women to learn a trade that will provide them with a solid middle class income as members of the Sheet Metal Workers Union. For men and women willing and able to put in the hard work, there are still a lot of opportunities for a rewarding career, but it often requires training from skilled experts in the field. Apprenticeship programs help Americans looking for work secure the rewarding jobs already available in our economy,” Congressman Garamendi said.
“The Sheet Metal Apprenticeship Training Center will help a lot of workers in our region gain hands-on experience in their field, improve their craft, join a strong union, and connect with employers,” Garamendi added. “These are also green jobs, helping to make buildings more energy efficient as we address the challenges of climate change. We need a lot more programs like this to create a better deal for American workers and make the promise of the American dream a reality.”
Increasing access to apprenticeship and workforce training programs is a key plank of the Congressional Democratic Caucus’s “A Better Deal” vision for America.
About the Sheet Metal Workers Local 104 Apprenticeship Training Center
The state-of-the art training center for Sheet Metal Workers Local 104 and Bay Area contractors recently completed the development of three additional training labs, increasing instruction capabilities for service, testing and balancing, and welding using cutting-edge instructional aids. It originally opened in 2014 as one of four centers in the Bay Area to train apprentices in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) services and repair, sheet metal fabrication and installation, and architectural welding.
To perfect their craft, sheet metal apprentices will work 6,500 hours with four different employers before “turning out” (graduating) from the program. This will make them a tremendous asset for employers who face precise installation standards. The program is especially important for Solano County now because almost half of all journeymen in the field will reach retirement age over the next few years.
According to the California Public Utilities Commission, the HVAC industry has been identified as key for energy reduction goals in California. Half of the energy costs for an average U.S. household come from air conditioning. This training facility is filling the need for skilled workers who create, manufacture, install, and maintain energy-efficient HVAC systems.