Eddie Grinnell has been continuing to hit the streets to find people interested in well-paid trade jobs. The city’s Priority Hire program is meant to ensure that people in the 98118 have access to the jobs created by the City’s construction projects, and Eddie makes sure residents have the skills necessary to get those jobs. Once someone has chosen a trade (electrician, carpenter, cement mason, welder, plumber, flagger, etc), Eddie connects them with a corresponding 3-4 months, unpaid pre-apprenticeship program. Once that is completed, he helps future tradesmen and women get apprenticeships, lasting 3-4 years and paying $24-$28 an hour. Then, he helps them complete the process by assisting 98118’s newest tradespeople in finding union jobs or journeymen carpentry jobs.
Outreach and building relationships with the various pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs for each trade is crucial for Eddie’s work, and in February, Eddie was able to get answers to a question he had by hooking up with Wayne E. Smith at the Pre-Apprenticeship Construction (PAC) training program in the Central District. Some of the people he helps get part of the way through the process, and then for one reason or another, end up spending time outside of the 98118. When they come back, Smith told him, even if it’s been a while, their certificates don’t necessarily expire. Folks in this situation can get back in touch with their program, and while they may need to brush up on certain skills, they don’t need to repeat the full 11 weeks.
In the future, Eddie mentions that Priority Hire is looking for more female construction workers, and he is considering holding a construction fair for females interested in trade jobs.