Unions, Contractors and CTE: In a Successful Partnership in Illinois, the Value of Career and Technical Education Is Recognized and Promoted by Unions and Contractors in the Construction Industry
Jarosz, Francesca, Techniques
IT WASN'T UNTIL HIS JUNIOR YEAR AT JOLIET Central High School that Frank DiDomenico found subjects that sparked his interest: welding, electronics. carpentry and, particularly, automotive technology. That summer, he landed a paid construction job through the Three Rivers Education for Employment System's school-to-apprenticeship program (STA). This program provides students with the opportunity to earn union wages at union jobsites during the summer of their junior year. DiDomenico discovered he could turn his hobby into a career and is now a second-year heavy-equipment mechanic apprentice at Patten Trucking.
"I would have never even thought about what I'm doing if it weren't for STA," 19-year-old DiDomenico says. "This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. This is my passion."
STA coordinators call DiDomenico a success story of their four-year-old program, which is based at 13 schools, including two area career centers, in Will and Grundy Counties and parts of Cook County, about 40 miles south of Chicago.
DiDomenico's supervisor, Joey Giannetto, service manager at Patten Tractor, agrees, noting that, "Frank is one of the better skilled workers I've seen. He's willing to do whatever it takes to take care of the customer."
Across Illinois, in places where unions thrive, construction industry professionals and career and technical education (CTE) teachers of building trades promote similar initiatives to lure students such as DiDomenico into fields that include carpentry, electrical work and ironworking. From career fairs to work-based learning programs, the outreach efforts introduce teens to construction careers, while providing union-supported contractors with qualified candidates for future employment.
STA Coordinator Don Kaufman says, "For people who want to get into this type of trade, it's an excellent opportunity. We …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Unions, Contractors and CTE: In a Successful Partnership in Illinois, the Value of Career and Technical Education Is Recognized and Promoted by Unions and Contractors in the Construction Industry. Contributors: Jarosz, Francesca - Author. Magazine title: Techniques. Volume: 81. Issue: 6 Publication date: September 2006. Page number: 30+. © 2007 Association for Career and Technical Education. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.