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Apprentices and journeymen employed at businesses throughout San Diego County


June 16, 2001 (San Diego) -- Years of dedication and hard work have paid off for apprentices and craft trainees who graduated with their apprenticeship and journeyman certificates on Friday, June 10 from the Associated Builders and Contractors Apprenticeship Training program. 


Eighty students in the Class of 2011 from the San Diego region have completed a skilled trades apprenticeship and craft training program in crafts such as plumbing and pipefitting, electrical, electronic systems technician and sheet metal. Their course of study included up to four years of classroom training and thousands of hours of practical field experience.



Seventeen of the graduates are from the East County. They are:


Alpine: Ryan Blakney, electrician;(Honor Graduate) and Justin Dively, plumbing.

El Cajon: Jared Churchill, Marwan Hana, Lawson Hook, James Buchanan and Adam Yates, electricians; Eric Chace, electrical systems technician; and Jonathan Castro, sheet metal apprentice.

La Mesa: Kyle Weber, sheet metal apprentice; Aurelio Ladron De Guevara, Jeremy Van Wulven, electricians.

Lakeside: Daniel Wells, electrician; Justin James, sheet metal.

Santee: Devon Terramagra, electrician; Andrew Masters, plumbing/pipefitting.

Spring Valley: Michael Castro, electrician.


Electrical apprentice Arlan B. Roest of Valley Center was named Outstanding Graduate of the Class of 2011. He works for Rowan Electric, Inc. This year’s Honor Graduates are also electrical apprentices: Ryan C. Blakney of Alpine; Daniel R. Gonzales of Chula Vista; and Marcus S. Matson and Michael R. Taylor of San Diego. Blakney works for R.L. Electric, Inc; Gonzales for Bergelectric; Matson for Ickler Electric and Taylor for Laser Electric.


Thanks to a unique partnership between ABC and the San Diego Community College District, all of the graduates also earned significant credit toward an Associate of Science degree through supplemental classroom instruction specific to their hands-on training programs in the various construction trades.  Completion of remaining general education courses plus electives allows apprentices to graduate with their Associate’s degree at the same time they earn their apprenticeship certificates.


“The construction industry has grown more and more complex,” said ABC Apprenticeship Training Trust Chairman Matt Harbin. “Change comes quickly and our training programs must stay current to meet the demand for a more skilled work force. We’re proud of our students and their accomplishments.” 


“The exceptional level of skill that contractors have come to expect from ABC Apprenticeship Training program graduates is also what makes them so successful in achieving their career goals year after year,” said ABC Apprenticeship Training Trust Executive Director Sherry Yarbrough. 


Until the late 1970s, mechanical and electrical contractors were forced to join a union if they wanted to train their employees in a skilled trades apprenticeship program. A small but dedicated group of merit shop contractors founded ABC San Diego in 1976. The chapter’s first apprenticeship program standards were submitted to the state’s Department of Industrial Relations/Division of Apprenticeship Standards for approval several years later and ABC began training apprentice electricians. Plumbing and pipefitting programs were added, followed by the chapter’s sheet metal program. In 2005, the first class of Electronic Systems Technicians graduated. Since then, thousands of individuals have graduated from the ABC Apprenticeship Training Trust including this year’s graduates.


In 1970, 30 percent of the nation's construction was performed merit shop and six of the top 400 construction firms were ABC members. Today, merit shops accounts for more than 80 percent of all construction across the country, and ABC's membership has grown to include more than half of the top 400 construction companies in the United States.


ABC San Diego’s program has been awarded Accredited Training Sponsor Status from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), assuring all its members of nationally recognized training for their craft professionals.  NCCER is a nonprofit education foundation created to develop standardized construction, maintenance, and pipeline curricula with portable credentials and help address the critical skilled workforce shortage. NCCER is affiliated with the University of Florida's M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction.


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