High schoolers learn about apprenticeship programs

High schoolers learn about apprenticeship programs

Hundreds of high schoolers visited the Carpenters' Union to learn more about their apprenticeship programs.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Hundreds of high schoolers visited the Carpenters’ Union to learn more about their apprenticeship programs.

The biggest takeaway a few students told KOB 4 was that they don’t have to go to college to get a well paying career. They say if they take the apprenticeship route, they could also get paid while they are taking their classes.

 “Carpentry is actually 85% of a construction job site,” said Rosendo Najar with the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. 

From framing up the walls at the beginning to hanging the doors at the end of a construction project, carpenters have a wide range of skills. But they need more people to fill those roles.

“If you guys don’t have a direction that you’re thinking about going after high school, really take consideration into the carpentry trade or trades in general. The demand right now for the trades is huge, guys. And a lot of our people are making well over six figures a year. Some of them without even a high school diploma, myself included,” said Najar.

Najar spoke to hundreds of high schoolers Tuesday morning, explaining how their apprenticeship program works.

Students even heard from a current apprentice who is working on the expansion of Intel in Rio Rancho.

“As an apprentice, we get raises as we get more training, go to these classes and get more hours on the job site and become closer to a journeyman. And so when you get your hours, and you go to a class, it doesn’t really matter if you’re a woman or a man, because you hand them a paper and you’re like, ‘Now I’m this level of apprentice, and I get paid this,’” said Angelina Crowley, a carpenter apprentice. 

Multiple speakers, including the New Mexico Speaker of the House, Javier Martinez, told the students about the advantages of pursuing a trade rather than going to a university. 

For some children, it sounded like a good deal.

“I got a good connection with the lady who was an apprentice that worked at Intel, mainly because my dad worked at Intel as well as a journeyman. So kind of works out there,” said Maddix Mullan, a Highlands High School junior. 

This year, the state Legislature also passed $320 million for apprenticeship and workforce training programs across the state.