The construction industry continues to boom in Colorado, providing a unique opportunity for industry employers who need trained laborers and individuals looking for meaningful, well-paying jobs. The Skilled Trades Education Program (STEP) meets the needs of both groups by offering free training in four high-demand construction trades.
“Construction in Colorado is booming, and the STEP program positions these graduates for a bright future,” said Krystin Garcia, STEP coordinator. “Some are young and just starting out, and some are looking for a career change that offers better benefits and job security. Through STEP, they all get the training they need for union-based jobs that will be in demand for a long time.”
For four weeks, STEP students attend free day or night classes in the plumbing, HVAC/sheet metal, electrical or pipe fitting trades. After the four-week session, graduates can apply for a paid apprenticeship in their chosen field, and after three to five years of on-the-job training will attain licensed journeyman status with 35 hours of college credit. These union-based jobs typically include health insurance, pensions and many other benefits.
The program is offered through a partnership between Servicios de La Raza, a Denver-based nonprofit working to break the cycle of poverty, and MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) Alliance.
The classes are open to adult Coloradans and those who will turn 18 before May 2018. As they train, STEP students learn about the history of their fields as well as energy efficiency standards, blueprint reading, and other industry-leading practices that prepare them for a future in the construction industry. They receive OSHA, First Aid and CPR certifications as well.
For more information on STEP, visit stepcolorado.org.