Video push: Carpenter Contractor Trust releases YouTube video in effort to attract next-generation workforce

The Carpenter Contractor Trust has reached the video age. Or, at least, it’s using video as a vehicle to attract potential candidates to the Carpenters Apprentice Ready Program — a first step toward apprenticeship.

The video, sponsored by the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, the Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Training Center and the General Building Contractors Association, promotes CARP, a course that introduces participants to the basics of working as a union carpenter.

CCT Executive Director Cyndie Williams said the goal of the video — and the program — is to introduce a career to a new generation of members.

“The unique benefits of the pre-apprenticeship programs are that students not only get a hands-on introduction to working as a carpenter, but they also have the opportunity to see if this is a trade that can become a career choice for them,” she said.

“We felt a video was the most effective platform to reach candidates, especially younger ones, looking for a career.”

The pre-apprenticeship program’s overarching goal of recruiting future carpenters also emphasizes equity, diversity and inclusion, Williams said. The program introduces a career option to underserved communities, including people of color and women.

CARP also helps create a direct connection between the apprentices and their communities. Those who become union carpenters tend to live in the areas where they work, giving an economic boost to their community, Williams said.

CARP offers these features:

  • A 10-week training program consisting of hands-on and classroom sessions;
  • Weekend sessions, allowing participants a flexible schedule if they have other commitments;
  • Exposure to a range of subjects, including math and skills training;
  • Introduction to specific carpentry skills, including general carpentry, millwright, floor laying, cabinet making and pile driving.

If it’s a fit, the program encourages graduates to apply to the formal four-year carpenter apprentice program immediately, Williams said.

Most of all, Williams said the pre-apprenticeship program helps to remove the unknown factor or any misunderstanding of what it’s like to work as a union carpenter. Those who find the work compelling can apply for the full-time, four-year professional apprenticeship program, and a career could await them with good pay and excellent benefits.

“We are encouraged by the economic and political climate that places a great emphasis on infrastructure projects where we work,” she said. “Union carpenters will be a vital part of the workforce, and the pre-apprenticeship program is the first step in preparing new recruits for the jobs ahead.”

The footprint of the EASRCC spans six states (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia) and Washington, D.C., allowing for a broad range of geographic accessibility.