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Careers Paths and UBC Training

Career Entry

Not everyone goes to college.  Our union believes in the value and integrity of labor.  Entering the construction industry as a union carpenter provides high school graduates with the opportunity to engage in an interesting, rewarding career which utilizes a variety of physical and intellectual skills.  Over the course of your career you will be involved a variety of satisfying projects which help build your community.  Math skills, physical dexterity, problem solving abilities and personal fitness will all serve you well in this trade. If you are still in high school there may be special programs/academies available to you which prepare you for the construction industry.  Participation in these programs will give you a feel for our work.  They may also provide you with an advantage in applying for carpentry apprenticeship openings.

Pre-Apprenticeship Training Programs

Several direct entry pre-apprenticeship training programs exist within the local’s area.  Successful graduates will be directly placed in the apprenticeship program and they will be able to immediately seek employment as apprentice carpenters with corresponding wages and benefits. These programs include the Clark County Skills Center (SW Washington), the Portland Communty College ETAP, Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. and the UBC Job Corps training programs located in Oregon near Estacada, Astoria, Glide, and Yachats.

For more information on the UBC Job Corps, or to enroll in the program, call (800) 733-5627 or contact your state employment office.

Direct entry is also available to veterans through the Helmets to Hardhats program.

Apprenticeship Training

Young men and women just entering carpentry typically do so as apprentices which allows them to earn a very competitive wage while learning the skills of the trade. Apprenticeship openings are regulated by the state based upon projected need.  The application process is competitive and all applicants are tested and rated before admission.   The apprenticeship program provides exposure to the extensive skill set required to function successfully in the trade.  The program entails a structured classroom/lab component with alternating periods of paid workplace employment.  Apprentices are monitored by an apprenticeship supervisory committee and Journeyman carpenters. They are required to maintain logs of their actual workplace activities and are evaluated on an ongoing basis.  As an apprentice advances though the program his or her pay scale reflects progress.  Upon successful completion of academic and employment phases the apprentice becomes a full-fledged Journeyman carpenter.

UBC Placement

Those individuals that have entered the carpentry trade through alternate paths often learn the benefits of membership through bitter experience.  Our ranks are open to new, experienced members that embrace our principles.  Our craft is built around a commitment to professional versatility, so late joiners will have the opportunity to join based upon an assessment of professional skills and knowledge.  Some new members may be placed in our training program at an accelerated level where their existing knowledge will be enhanced through specific classes and programs   Our participation in Helmets to Hard Hats programs reflects our commitment to support the speedy transition of veterans to employment through our union.

UBC Training Programs

In support of its members  and its trade, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters maintains one of the most comprehensive training programs in the country.  The UBC provides educational opportunities designed to keep its members employable.  These classes focus on ‘best practices’ culled from the trade and techniques developed in conjunction with new methods and materials.   The results are proficient employees that add value and are able to transition effectively between the changing needs of a dynamic workplace.

Skills/Industry Enhancement

Working with our signatory employers the Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute  works to create a training program which is responsive to the needs of our members and the industry. A portion of our membership dues goes to implement these extensive skills enhancement programs.  These courses serve our members by providing industry-specific skills, familiarization with new construction methods and managerial skills which contribute to professional advancement.  Classes are taught by UBC members who have hands on experience.  The courses are staged on a rotating schedule at different locations, at convenient times and at little cost to members.

Instructor Steve Little goes through the ‘gowning’ procedure with Cleanroom Protocols participants at the PNCI. The class is part of the skills enhancement program preparing UBC members for the region’s strong semiconductor market.