Next year: All CA construction apprentices to get green building practices instruction

Starting next year, all construction apprentices in California will receive instruction on green building practices as a component of their training.

The California Apprenticeship Council (CAC) on Jan. 20 approved integration of environmental components into minimum industry training criteria for the building construction trades apprenticeship programs, with full support from the construction industry. The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DIR/DAS) was instrumental in working with the 23 trades to create the criteria.

“California is poised for success in the greening of commercial and residential construction,” said DIR Director John C. Duncan. “This move will help California’s workforce gain the skill-set needed to satisfy green building standards.”

With today’s adoption of the new training criteria, apprenticeship programs in the building construction trades statewide will have one year to update their standards accordingly. The green guidelines for each industry must include a designated length of training, work processes of on-the-job training including recycling, reusing and preservation of resources, and competency testing.

Some changes to the new training criteria that trades in California have made include plumbers adding geothermal and hydroponic solar water systems to their core training skills, electricians incorporating energy efficient systems and eleven different occupations within the carpentry trade incorporating recycling and reuse practices. For a full list of trades and their minimum industry training criteria visit

DAS marked the approval of the green training criteria with an advance preview of the “I Built It – Green” video at a Jan. 20 CAC meeting.

“The ‘I Built It – Green’ video highlights the need for green building practices as part of a comprehensive apprenticeship program in the construction trades, so it was appropriate that we screen it at today’s meeting,” said Duncan. “The video will be distributed to apprenticeship programs statewide as well as California construction businesses and associations.”

Details about the “I Built It—Green” campaign, including a link to the online video, will be posted on the DAS “I Built It” page at

DAS creates opportunities for Californians to gain employable lifetime skills and provides employers with a highly skilled and experienced workforce by administering California apprenticeship law and enforcing apprenticeship standards for wages, hours and working conditions.

DAS promotes apprenticeship training through creation of partnerships, consults with program sponsors and monitors programs to ensure high standards for on-the-job training and supplemental classroom instruction. DAS annually awards completion certificates to the graduates of the 611 currently active apprenticeship programs in more than 500 occupations.

The California Apprenticeship Council issues regulations to carry out the intent of the state apprenticeship law and sets the general policy under which this program operates.