Sacramento Valley Union Labor Bulletin

Owned and Published by the Sacramento Central Labor Council and the Sacramento-Sierra’s Building & Construction Trades Council, official councils of the AFL-CIO


Building Trades gives hands-on experience to future members

By Sheri Williams

In September, the Sacramento-Sierra’s Building and Construction Trades hosted a “Taking It to the Streets” Block Party to introduce future members to union careers.

Attendees got a first-hand chance to experience Building Trades careers, participating in hands-on activities meant to show them what it’s like on job sites.

Along with the SSBCTC, the event was sponsored by City of Sacramento District 2 Councilmember Sean Loloee, High Roads Construction Careers, Arden Fair and People Working Together (PWT). Also in attendance were Bina Levkowitz of the Sacramento County Office of Education and Al Brown of the Sacramento County Office of Education.

Several hundred students turned out from St. Hope Public Schools, Rosemont High School, Burbank High School, Grant High School, Inderkum High School, College Career Academy, College Esports International (CESI) and Oroville High School.

Attendees got the chance to talk face-to-face with representatives from 28 local union affiliates. They also met with construction companies, government agencies, schools and public utilities, who have job openings. That included McCarthy, Turner Construction, Southland, Teichert, Rosendin Electric, Intech Mechanical, Frank Booth, Caltrans, UC Davis, SMUD and more. The companies provided hands-on demonstrations for job seekers, on-the-spot interviews, and information.

“This career fair is different because job seekers get a chance to see what it’s like to work in construction,” said Kevin Ferreira, Executive Director of SSBCTC. “They’ll see what kind of skills they need to be an iron or sheet metal worker, pipefitter, cement mason, carpenter or electrician. They’ll probably be very surprised at the kind of money they can make as a skilled trades person. These are good-paying jobs.”

Five roofers were hired on the spot, Ferreira said.

The day also included raffle prizes including Apple AirPods, Beats Earbuds, multiple $50 gift cards and hard hats.

The day specifically targeted disadvantaged workers—at risk youth, single parents, veterans, the chronically unemployed, those who have had contact with law enforcement, women, and residents from communities of color.

In 2021, SSBCTC began hosting the concept of the “Taking It to the Streets” Block Party in Sacramento’s marginalized communities such as Oak Park, Del Paso Heights and Meadowview in order to connect with people who typically don’t get promising career opportunities.

“As a multi-employer resource department, the building and trades council’s goal is to improve, enhance, and enrich the lives of working men and women of labor by having the best trained and most productive workforce in the industry. We continue to build partnerships with developers and contractors as a testament to the fact that we remain the best choice for any construction project.” Ferreira said.