News & Updates

News & Updates

New Skills Give Stockton Man a Second Chance

As a young man, Ho Ly couldn’t see a solid career in his future.

He tried community college and training as a car mechanic, but those avenues didn’t lead anywhere. Before and after a stint in prison, Ly jumped from one low-paying job to another in construction, warehouses and more.

“I didn’t have a clear direction or a clear path,” he said.

That changed when a friend helped him link up to a Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3), — or apprenticeship readiness – program offered through California Human Development in San Joaquin County. For several years, the agency has worked with the San Joaquin Building Trades as a training partner using the MC3 curriculum to prepare students for various construction trade union apprenticeships in the region.

Today, Ly is a graduate of the program and in an apprenticeship program with Laborers Local 73 in Stockton. He loves the new career direction.

“The program was great, the instructor was great,” said Ly, 34, of Stockton. “Now I’m more focused on working and I have a more clear direction. I have more security and job stability – I’m not going job-to-job.”

Training programs like this are the idea behind the Valley Build Partnership, a new 14-county collaboration between the trades, regional workforce board and other partners. The three-year pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship readiness training is just now rolling out across the region.

The goal is to train close to 300 people in building and construction skills that translate into good-paying jobs and stable careers. Grant funding comes from Senate Bill 1, a state transportation initiative focused on rebuilding and improving California streets, freeways, bridges, transit and other transportation corridors.

One goal of Valley Build is to expand the number of women, minorities, disadvantaged youth, ex-offenders and other under-represented groups in apprenticeships and construction jobs. Ly is just that kind of student.

He likes physical labor and is happy to be an apprentice in Local 73. So far, Ly has worked jobs ranging from landscaping – planting trees and general labor – to digging and shoveling for underground pipe-laying projects. He’s currently employed by Lyles Construction.

“I feel important when I’m on the crew – I feel like I’m doing something,” Ly said. He continues to learn from journeymen on the job and improve his skills.

The training program is just what Ly needed to raise his standard of living. He recently bought his first car and also is able to save for the future.

“I recommend the training to anybody who wants to make more money,” Ly said. “It’s a good start. I’m a perfect example – I’m starting over and I’m meeting guys who are in their teens.”

A new apprenticeship readiness class begins June 1 in Stockton.

Students will participate in a robust training curriculum that includes OSHA 10 certification, blueprint reading, forklift certification, introduction to plumbing, carpentry, electrical, HVAC and more.

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, mainly at California Human Development’s ASET training center in Stockton. Anyone with questions, or interest in the class, is encouraged to register at or call Lead Coordinator Nick Weathers at (209) 561-5426.