In Partnership With The Laborers’ Union, The City Of Phoenix Is Now Offering A Paid Apprenticeship Training Program To Become Street Maintenance Workers
(PHOENIX, ARIZONA) – It’s a career that is as solid as the concrete they are pouring.
The City of Phoenix is offering a new, unique opportunity on Valley streets where participants can make the roads safer while getting paid to train.
"I've learned a lot of stuff, like how to use the jackhammers, how to lay asphalt, how to mix concrete - also learned how to drive the Bobcat," said Ryan Finch, who added he was open to trying something new after being used to fixing hairy situations and cleaning up.
"I used to be a Dog Groomer - yeah," Finch laughed. "And I switched over to do this."
He’s now paving, quite literally, a very different career path for himself.
Ryan is one of the first in the Street Maintenance Worker Apprenticeship Program with the City of Phoenix - a partnership between the City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department and Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA), Local 777.
"I live right in this area and I feel privileged to be able to work on this," Finch said.
A friend sent him the link to a mandatory information session where he learned no previous experience was necessary for him to start getting paid, which made his family so proud.
"They're really excited for me," Finch said. "We were all praying about it a lot and I just feel super blessed to be able to come into work for the City of Phoenix."
Nicholas Ramirez is a Supervisor with the Phoenix Street Maintenance Department and is the Training Coordinator for this new effort: "The way the Apprentice Program is structured is it's a two-year program, which is a (4,000)-hour course."
Ramirez said this process really helps streamline talent while creating a new skilled workforce from the ground up.
Participants spend some time in the classroom, then they put what they have learned into practice.
Workers are earning about $17 an hour while they are out training and they can also expect raises every six months.
By the time they complete the program, they’ll be making more than $20 an hour.
Their benefits include a retirement plan, sick leave, medical coverage, and more - all start while training with the City.
"We're looking for people that want a future," Ramirez said. "This is not just a job, it's a career."
The training program also serves as a pipeline to employment, which also means more staff to deal with the miles and miles of streets that need repairs, paving, and upgrades to make the road safer.
The program can also assist participants in getting a commercial driver's license.
To Read This Apprenticeship And Training Labor News Story In Its Entirety, Go To: www.abc15.com/news/operation-safe-roads/phoenix-offering-paid-training-program-to-become-street-maintenance-worker