January 21, 2015
By Neal Tepel, LaborPress Publisher
Washington, DC — LeDaya Epps, one of First Lady Michelle Obama's guests at last night's State of the Union address, was given an opportunity to enroll in an apprenticeship-readiness program sponsored by the Los Angeles and Orange County Building Trades Council. As a single mother caring for three children, finding meaningful employment was paramount.
Upon her completion of the apprenticeship-readiness program, LeDaya was given the option to enter a formal apprenticeship program with the Laborers International Union of North America Local 300. LeDaya, now 38, is today working on a project to expand the LA Metro light rail train line to Los Angeles International Airport.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama touted his administration's efforts to grow the number of registered apprenticeships over the next several years. LeDaya's story is just one great example of how the Building Trades' on-the-job training is working for Americans across the country.
Apprenticeship programs are proving to be a successful springboard into the middle class for women, minorities and military veterans," said Sean McGarvey, President of North America's Building Trades Unions. From Boston to Seattle, and everywhere in between, our unions are partnering with industry and community leaders, as well as local lawmakers, to create the necessary partnerships that lead to the creation of 'earn while you learn' career training pathways – a significant first step on the ladder to the middle class.