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Mayor Gray Addresses Graduates and Sponsoring Employers of District’s Registered Apprenticeship Program

June 8, 2011 — Mayor Vincent Gray today praised graduates of the DC Apprenticeship Academy and commended area employers, education and District government partners working together to sponsor apprenticeship instruction and high school career and technical education in the community-based training facility at Cardozo Education Campus. In its annual graduation ceremony at Cardozo, the academy conferred credentials on apprentices who have completed four years of industry-accredited courses and related on-the-job training required for licensing as journeyman electricians. DC Apprenticeship Academy is a partnership of the nonprofit D.C. Students Construction Trades Foundation and the District Department of Employment Services Office of Apprenticeship Training and Information, working with District of Columbia Public Schools.

Mayor Gray said public and private support for career and technical education is vital to the District workforce. “It takes all of these partners – District schools, government, employers and these motivated trainees – working together to ensure District citizens are prepared to compete in the 21st century economy,” he said.

DC Apprenticeship Academy offers all levels of apprenticeship-related instruction for carpentry, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, masonry, concrete form building and reinforced ironworker technical specialties. Enrollment is open to employees of construction contractors and building industry firms that are registered with the DOES Office of Apprenticeship Training and Information. Trainees must be employed by a registered firm or contractor to be eligible to enroll in apprenticeship instruction at the academy. “The value of this training is enormous,” said Tony Wash, owner of A. Wash and Associates, Inc. and keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony. “This type of training enabled me to start a business that now employs 38 people, and we’ve been in business for 15 years,” he said. Wash also said it was personally significant for him to speak at the graduation program with the mayor because early on when his company had a contract to do electrical work at Covenant House, Vincent Gray, the nonprofit’s director at the time, encouraged him to keep pushing hard for opportunities and to keep working hard to achieve business success.

Beth Moore, program director for the D.C. Students Construction Trades Foundation, said the two-year building renovation currently underway at Cardozo Education Campus poses challenges but will not interrupt the foundation’s training programs. “We will use temporary classrooms that are being installed on the Cardozo campus, and we’ll conduct some training at employer sites during the renovation” she said. “Despite current school budget cuts and renovation challenges, we have experienced even greater interest and participation from area employers in all of our training programs this year, and that directly benefits youth and adults seeking training and certification for a broad range of careers in the building industry.”

DC Apprenticeship Academy is operated by the nonprofit D.C. Students Construction and Trades Foundation, an Accredited Training Sponsor registered with the National Center for Construction Education and Research. See additional information about curriculum and programs at: www.dcstudentsctf.org/apprenticeship/about.htm

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