Sacramento worker no longer homeless thanks to NBA team’s construction apprenticeship program

Updated Dec 29, 2014
Eric MartinezEric Martinez

One of the main reasons the majority of contractors in the U.S. say they are unable to fill positions with qualified workers is the weakening of what used to be a strong training pipeline for construction workers in most communities.

According to a report from Fox 40 TV in Sacramento, California, the city’s NBA team the Kings are building a new arena. And to outfit its crews with enough skilled workers, the Kings started the Community Workforce Pipeline, an apprenticeship program that helps those in need learn construction skills and transition into a career in the industry.

The Kings have been successfully filling positions on its arena jobsite through the program, but more importantly, the careers they’re offering, as are many in this industry, can be life-changing.

One graduate of the program, Eric Martinez was homeless when he enrolled in the pipeline program. Since then, he’s landed a job at the arena work site, has a home, a new car and has even gotten married. He says the Kings “came to the rescue,” for him and many others in the city.

And he doesn’t plan on stopping there. Martinez told the station he plans on going back to school to become an architect.