Accelerated Program at SDCCE Helps Students Enter Union Apprenticeships

SDCCE’s apprenticeship readiness students work with contractors in electrical, carpentry and plumbing. (Photo courtesy of SDCCE)

Students are on the fast track to becoming apprentices in the building and construction trades industry through San Diego College of Continuing Education’s (SDCCE’s) High Roads Construction Apprenticeship Readiness Program. Applications are now open for adults 18 and older.

SDCCE and its partner organizations, San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego Workforce Partnership, and San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council were awarded a seven-figure grant from Senate Bill 1 to train disproportionately impacted populations for careers in the 22 unions in the region. The first of six cohorts begins Monday, March 1, 2021.

SDCCE, the largest provider of noncredit education in California, serves students who are among the most culturally, ethnically, socio-economically, and educationally diverse in the state.

Carlos Osvaldo Cortez, Ph.D., SDCCE’s President, explained the goal is to build an inclusive and diverse skilled trades community stating, “SDCCE’s High Roads Construction Apprenticeship Readiness Program is creating equal access for minority populations and for more women to enter the building and construction trades.”

Upon successful completion of the twelve-week program students earn OSHA 10, CPR/First Aid, Boom/Scissor Lift certifications, and the MC3 Certification qualifying graduates for union apprenticeship programs, an opportunity that can take up to four years.

Pre-apprentice students will attend college and career readiness classes Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm with an opportunity to participate in an 80-hour paid internship earning $16 an hour. Although SDCCE campuses remain closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, teaching and learning has successfully continued remotely and online, allowing students like Brandin McNabb, to take part in the school’s pilot cohort in 2019.

“I learned  about many different trades while in this program. I am very proud of my hard work and dedication. I have accomplished a lot of my goals,” he said. Eastridge Workforce Solutions employed McNabb when he completed the Boom/Scissor Lift certifications through SDCCE. In addition to employment, McNabb started a sheet metal internship.

To apply for SDCCE’s High Roads Construction Apprenticeship Readiness Program contact Willie Lang at or 619-784-6952.