Career Signing Days Bring Aboard 69 New Apprentices
For students who are not college-bound, an apprenticeship with the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters (NCSRCC) provides a unique opportunity to learn, work, and earn good wages and benefits. This past spring and summer, 69 students chose careers as carpenters, millwrights, pile drivers and mill-cabs through NCSRCC’s Career Signing Days.
Working with 50 high schools and 49 contractors, business representatives across the Regional Council welcomed graduates as new union apprentices. Once students commit to building their future with the Carpenters, the Regional Council works to connect them with union contractors who will sponsor their apprenticeship. As sponsors, these contractors help train new apprentices by supporting classroom education and offering on-the-job learning experiences.
“Bringing aboard 69 new apprentices during a pandemic is nothing short of spectacular. I am very proud of the work our
business representatives did to make this year a success despite schools being dismissed in March,” said NCSRCC’s Executive
Secretary-Treasurer, John Raines.
As a teen, Lillian Nauman (pictured left) knew that she loved working with her hands and learning to operate construction tools. When Nauman entered high school, she gravitated toward woodworking, welding and construction classes that were made available. Now a Dubuque Senior High School graduate, Nauman will work as a carpenter apprentice with Portzen Construction, Inc. She is also a new member of Local 678 in Dubuque, Iowa.
“I am very excited because I am someone girls, like my sisters, can look up to, and I am also excited because college was never something I was interested in,” Nauman said. “It will be nice to just get into the workforce and not ever have any debt to pay off.”
Jayme Kluesner, a controller at Portzen, said he is excited to see someone as young as Nauman pursue a career path that can open so many doors for her. “I think it’s just important to show [kids] what’s out there, and then they can make an educated decision,” he said. “A lot of kids go to college just to go to college.”