Four Graduates to Enter Union Carpenters Apprenticeship Program

ALLENTOWN, PA, December 18, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — Allentown, Pennsylvania Four aspiring female carpenters recently graduated from the first-ever pre-apprentice program at the Allentown Training Center branch of the Carpenters Apprentice School of Philadelphia & Vicinity.

The six-week program exposes candidates to the carpentry trade. Those graduates become eligible to apply for the full-time, four-year apprenticeship program.

The would-be apprentices receive exposure to the gamut of disciplines that union apprentice carpenters learn during the full-fledged apprenticeship program. These include mathematics, material handling, learning the difference between commercial and residential carpentry, proper carrying techniques to avoid injury, and safety training.

All the graduates received OSHA 10 certification, which familiarizes construction workers with safety rules and regulations. Similar to full-time apprentices, the program combines classroom training with hands-on instruction. “We start the day with calisthenics and move right into the curriculum of the day,” said Francis Schlenner, a training center instructor.

As the traditional spool of candidates for union carpentry jobs diminishes, unions like the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) have worked vigorously to encourage women and minorities to explore the possibilities of a carpentry career.

“Women still don’t automatically think of joining the carpenters’ union as a career,” said Vanessa Salazar, council representative, Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters. “These women in this program come from varied backgrounds. What we look for is a passion for the work. Their success proves that women in the construction industry, that are willing to work hard and are open to learning a highly skilled craft, can have a career in the Carpenters Union.”

Once women enroll in the formal apprenticeship program, they receive support from the Sisters in the Brotherhood, a UBC committee, dedicated to breaking down barriers for women who decide on a career in the carpentry trade. “Because women remain a minority in this field, the Sisters in the Brotherhood serve as a pillar of support and offers them networking opportunities with women who understand the construction business,” said Salazar.

While confronting many challenges during the pre-apprenticeship program, the candidates’ biggest surprise was the need for mathematics. “I don’t think any of them anticipated the amount and level of mathematics that the training entailed,” said Schlenner.

For more information about the Carpenters School of Philadelphia & Vicinity, visit

For more information about the Sisters in the Brotherhood, visit

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