LULAC Davenport invites you to the Skill Trades Career Expo on May 21

The belief is that to get ahead in life one has to go to college, but there are many reasons why many never make it to college. Just because you did not get the college diploma it does not mean that you should settle for low paying job that makes you feel unhappy. There are other options besides college out there that cost less, but offer stable wages and good benefits. Consider an apprenticeship as a way to learn a trade or get a skill that will set you on a career path with good future salary.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM come to LULAC Center on 4224 Ricker Hill Rd in Davenport,IA for the Skill Trades Career Expo. This event is for everyone interested to learn more and apply for an apprenticeship. It is hosted by League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and Tri-City Building Trades Council.

LULAC state director, Mike Reyes, explained that although LULAC has always offered scholarships for eligible students to go to college, he understands that college may not be the best option for everyone.

Michael Alvarado from Bettendorf, IA is a second year apprentice in Drywall finishing and is a member of Local 676 Painters and Finishers

“We know many young Latino students are choosing not to attend college after graduation for a variety of reasons,” Mr. Reyes explained the reason why LULAC is offering the Skill Trade Career Expo. “What LULAC is trying to do is offer an alternative to going to college.  Allowing young Latinos the opportunity to learn a trade and make a decent income all while in training. After completion of their apprenticeship there is no student loan debt when entering the workforce.”

Representatives from the following trade apprenticeship programs will be available to discuss more about the opportunities they have to offer: Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 25, Plasters & Cement Masons Local 18, Roofers Local 32, Carpenters Local 4, IBEW Local 145, Bricklayers Local 6, BHC Highway Construction Career Training Program, EICC Blong Center.

Interested candidates have to be at least 18 years old, have a High School Diploma or GED and be eligible to work in the US. DACA students are eligible. The apprenticeship usually runs between 2 to 5 years depending on the trade one chooses to learn. The mechanical trades like plumbers & fitters, sheet metal workers and electricians spent 5 years learning the trade. The good thing about these programs is that while they are learning apprentices earn about $14 to $16 per hour and that includes healthcare benefits.

“The building trades union apprenticeship program is ‘an earn’ while you learn training program that provides an opportunity to secure a career in construction with great pay and benefits,” Jerry Lack, Executive Director of Tri-City Building Trades Council explained. “There are great opportunities for career advancement in construction.  When an apprentice graduates they can go on to become a foreman, superintendent, project manager, estimator or owner of their own business.”

An apprenticeship is a learning experience and that means that they might require participants to spend money on things like tools, books and other stuff. That is why LULAC will be offering mini scholarships to participants who are successful in applying for the programs.  

“The apprenticeship mini scholarships are intending to help apprentices to get started with their training,” Mike Reyes stated. “We know there are tools, books, fees etc. that need to be paid up front.  Our intent is to award twelve $250 mini scholarships to successful applicants this year.”

Education does open doors, but not everyone has the same opportunity and privilege to attend institutions of higher learning. Just because college is not in your future, it certainly does not mean that you can’t have a well paying career doing something that you like. Take some time to learn more about the various skill trade careers that offer great salaries and benefits. Consider Apprenticeships where you get paid to learn a trade. Skill Trade Career Expo is on Tuesday May 21, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at LULAC Center 4224 Ricker Hill Rd., Davenport, IA.  

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