Thursday, July 26, 2018

Build a future through Grossmont College's ironworkers apprenticeships

If joining the ranks of well-paid ironworkers piques your interest, Grossmont College is partnering with Ironworkers Local 229 to offer a two-week pre-apprenticeship program to introduce trainees to the field, after which they may be selected as paid apprentices with starting salaries and benefits  totaling nearly $30 an hour.

Ironworkers are in the construction trades building the structural steel framework of metal buildings, stadiums, arenas, hospitals, towers and bridges. Journeymen earn salary packages totaling nearly $70 an hour.  

The start dates for this year’s remaining two-week pre-apprenticeship sessions are July 27 and Oct. 12. The first cohort of 10 trainees completed the pre-apprenticeships in June, with all hired for the next phase as paid apprentices. A fourth cohort will start Feb. 22, 2019. The training combines hands-on learning with classroom work from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday at the Ironworkers Training Center at 3888 Beech St. in the Fairmount Park neighborhood of San Diego.

“Grossmont College is very pleased to offer ironworkers a solid, dependable career option through these earn-as-you-learn apprenticeships,” said Javier Ayala, dean of Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development. “The hands-on training and education provided through these apprenticeships transform lives.”

The pre-apprenticeships are designed to provide trainees an opportunity to learn about the field and to get acquainted with ironworking before committing to the full-fledged, paid apprenticeships which typically take four years to complete. During the pre-apprenticeships, contractors drop by to observe trainees and to select the most promising for the paid apprenticeships.

The pre-apprenticeship program was developed from a $410,000 grant awarded to Grossmont College in 2017, a share of the $15 million California Apprenticeship Initiative Grant Program approved by the state community colleges Board of Governors. As part of the grant-funded program, the college’s Career Technical Education and Workforce Development division is in the process of starting up a mobile lab with virtual welding units and other career exploration activities in its outreach efforts throughout the East County.

To apply, contact program coordinator Erika Arangure at 619-644-7898 or at

Participants must be at least 18 years old and must have graduated high school or completed a GED. Women and those from underserved communities are encouraged to apply.

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District serves about 29,000 students each semester, nearly 19,000 at Grossmont College and almost 10,000 at Cuyamaca College.  For more information about the colleges, go to


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