News & Updates

News & Updates

First ValleyBuild Class Hits 94% Graduation Rate

The first class of graduates under the ValleyBuild Partnership is out in the work force and a new class in Fresno begins this July.

Last year, 18 students signed up for a Multi-Craft Pre-Apprenticeship class introducing them to a variety of construction trades. The Fresno-based course, which ran from Sept. 14 to Oct. 23, included 15 men and 3 women and boasted a 94% graduation rate.

Graduate Diana Gonzalez – one of the foreman during the community project – is now a taper/drywall apprentice with the Painters Local 294 and was the first from the class to be hired.

As of mid-January, a total of four students had been hired as taper apprentices, one as a glazer apprentice and another as a plumbing apprentice. Supportive services for tools and fees were provided to the participants.

Another four students were scheduled for interviews with the sheet metal and electricians’ unions. One student was hired as a regional utility foreman with Osmose Utility at an hourly salary of $36.

More than a decade ago, pre-apprenticeship classes like this were developed through a partnership of the area Building and Construction Trades Council, the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board and The Rios Company. The classes introduce students to careers in building and construction trades that offer a path into good-paying jobs and solid careers.

Now, through a new state grant, partners in a 14-county region will train nearly 300 students over three years for the growing demands of construction projects in California.

The ValleyBuild Partnership between the trades, regional workforce boards and other allies is funded from Senate Bill 1, a state transportation initiative focused on rebuilding and improving California streets, freeways, bridges, transit and other transportation corridors.

A new pre-apprentice co-hort begins July 6th in Fresno. Students will participate in a training curriculum that includes certification in OSHA 10, CPR/first aid, forklift and hazardous waste awareness training.

The training, part of the ValleyBuild effort, prepares students to apply for and successfully get indentured to the union construction apprenticeship of their choice.

The class will meet for eight hours, five days a week, in partnership with the Fresno, Madera, Kings, Tulare Building Trades Council.

Anyone with questions or interest in the class is encouraged to register at or call ValleyBuild at (855) 805-7245.