COM Offers Free Training for Construction and Trades Jobs

December 15th, 2017 - 2:54pm

News Contact:
Nicole Cruz
Office of the Superintendent/President
(415) 485-9508


College of Marin Offers Free Training for Construction and Trades Jobs

Trades Introduction Program scheduled to run from January through April 2018

NOVATO / KENTFIELD, CA—December 15, 2017—College of Marin (COM) continues to tailor workforce offerings to regional labor market needs. In January, a 10-week course hosted by COM and the Marin Adult Education Consortium will be offered to adults 18 and over at the College’s Indian Valley Campus in Novato. The 120-hour program provides education and skills training free of charge to individuals interested in pursuing an apprenticeship in one of 14 building trades.

In the wake of the North Bay fires, construction jobs are in high demand. Recent figures from independent research and consulting firm Beacon Economics indicate that residential rebuilding efforts in Sonoma County alone will require nearly 6,300 new construction trade workers per year for the next three years. 

Marin County business engagement representative Caran Cuneo says that the need to introduce the construction trades to a broad range of individuals has been a priority for many years in the North Bay.

“With retirements looming, and the career opportunities presented in the building trades, this program is essential in helping our economy grow and keeping families in the communities where they work,” said Cuneo.

Fortunately, the increased demand for qualified building and construction workers coincides with efforts by the North Bay Building Trades Councils, which seeks to make apprenticeships in the trades more accessible to entry-level individuals. 

The Trades Introduction Program (TIP) provides an overview of the building trades including carpentry, pipefitting, electrical, sheet metal, and others. Training received during the course includes first aid, CPR, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) certifications; as well as hands-on instruction with tools and materials.

According to North Bay TIP Coordinator Bill Scott, building trades are grappling with how to overcome past practices where craftspeople often got into union apprenticeships through friends or family with union connections.

“There has been a need for a pipeline to get people into the building trades,” said Scott. “But now, the shortage of qualified workers is going to be even more challenging—and that means an abundance of job opportunities.”

Students who successfully graduate from the program typically go on to enter apprenticeships in the trade of their choice. The Marin Building Trades Council, which oversees the program, has agreements with local unions to give priority to TIP graduates for apprenticeships. Scott said the goal is to place a minimum of 65 percent of the program’s graduates into apprenticeship programs, which they’ve already surpassed since its inception last year. 

COM’s Dean of Career and Technical Education and Economic Workforce Development Elizabeth Pratt says that TIP training is an incredible opportunity for the region. 

“It helps those who are struggling financially to start a new career without incurring student loans or other debt,” says Pratt. “And in the long run, it will help the North Bay recover from the devastation of the recent fires by providing an ample labor force.” 

The program was launched in April 2016 with a $349,000 grant from California’s Employment Development Department. Funding was provided by the California Clean Energy Jobs Act, approved by voters in 2012. 

This month, COM received a $392,000 grant to fund another TIP offering within the next two years at the Indian Valley Campus. Program dates will be announced once finalized.

Adults 18 and over who are interested in the program should sign up for an orientation on Friday, January 12, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Indian Valley Campus. Qualified candidates will be accepted into the program, which runs from January 22 to April 5. Priority is given to veterans, women, and people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Registration for the orientation and further details are available online at or by calling (707) 576-7299. 

Trades Introduction Program Orientation

Friday, January 12, 2018
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Indian Valley Campus
1800 Ignacio Boulevard
Novato, CA


About College of Marin
Established in 1926, College of Marin remains committed to educational excellence, providing equitable opportunities, and fostering success in all members of its diverse community. With campuses in Kentfield and Novato, students of all ages have affordable access to an exciting variety of credit and noncredit courses as well as community education classes for lifelong learning. College of Marin is one of 114 public community colleges in California and approximately 13,000 credit, noncredit, and community education students enroll annually. 

College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.