California Building Trades joint labor-management apprenticeship training programs are escalators to the middle class for Black, Latino, and other people of color. Over the past generation, entrants into California Building Trades apprenticeships have overwhelmingly come from underprivileged communities throughout the State of California.

Since 2008, program entrants from communities of color have exceeded their share of the general population in every region of California. Of the more than 85,000 individuals currently enrolled or graduated from a union-affiliated apprenticeship program between 2008 and 2018, more than two-thirds have come from communities of color, and that proportion is growing.

More than 93% of all currently enrolled or graduating apprentices have been in union joint labor-management programs available in every corner of the state. Union programs cover 149 different craft programs throughout the state, training in 15 individual craft trades. In 2019, 92% of all graduates came from union apprenticeship programs, equaling 7,591 graduates.

Black and Latino individuals are significantly over-represented in Building Trades apprenticeship programs when compared to their percentage of the overall population. While African-Americans make up about 5.5% of the state’s general population, they comprise over 7.4% of currently enrolled apprentices and 7.1% of current enrollees and graduates entering between 2008 and 2018. Similarly, non-white Latinos make up 39% of California’s population, while persons identifying as Hispanic comprise 56% of current enrollees and graduates entering between 2008 and 2018.