Journey Workers Training Program
How are the training classes scheduled?
All classes are put into a schedule by request from any of our Local Unions, Apprentice Programs or Signatory Contractors at any time during the year. Our most popular time for trainees to attend classes is during the winter months when construction work slows down. Receiving credentials by attending training classes through your Local Union, makes a Laborer more marketable to our partner contractors, and will lead to more work hours for the Laborer.
When are classes scheduled?
The lions share of the training classes scheduled, are during the winter months, when construction work slows down or is suspended due to poor weather conditions. All classes scheduled can be attended by Apprentices or Journey Workers. However, Apprentices will be invited to required training based on their progress toward completion of the Apprenticeship Program.
Are there any wages paid to Laborers’ that attend training classes?
There are no wages paid to Laborers’ that attend training. However, there is an expense reimbursement of $50 per day paid to Apprentices and Journey Workers. All expense reimbursements are paid by check and are generated after the classes are completed. In order to be eligible to receive an expense reimbursement check, the trainee must complete the training class that was attended in its entirety.
Who is eligible to attend training classes?
Apprenticeship Training: Laborer Apprentices are required to attend certain scheduled classes because of their agreement in joining and completing the apprentice program. All Apprentices are eligible to take any classes that are offered outside of the Apprenticeship class requirements as electives.
Journey Workers: Laborers are required to be in good standing with their monthly dues payments to their Local Union and have completed the prerequisite training to enroll in a refresher class, within the grace period allowed by the governmental agency requiring the refresher.
Laborers outside the Laborers' District Council of Eastern Pennsylvania and Contractor Employees must be in good standing with the Union Contractor or Local Union in order to attend the classes. These individuals are not eligible to receive the expense reimbursements. However, are eligible to receive all credentials by successfully completing the classes.
Is there a dress code for attending training classes?
Yes, there are rules for attire at the training classes just as there are requirements on attire when going to work. The rules are put into place to protect all the parties involved with conducting quality training programs that include hands-on activities and performance evaluations. When a Laborer attends a class, they must dress like they are going to work. Shorts, cut-off trousers, tennis shoes, flip flops, sandals and tank tops are NOT appropriate attire for training classes.
What time do training classes begin?
All day time training classes begin at 8:00 A.M. and conclude at 4:30 P.M. unless changed by the Instructor or Director. Please try to arrive earlier than the start of the class. Evening classes begin at 5:00 P.M. and conclude at 9:00 P.M. unless changed by the Instructor or Director. The Training Fund Office hours are 7:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday except holidays and severe weather conditions.
Do I need to register with the Training Fund Office before attending the classes?
Apprenticeship Training: Yes, we will inform each Apprentice that is scheduled for training by U.S. Postal mail about 30 days prior to the class at the last known address we have on file. At the top of the letter it will give directions to call and register. (It is important to change your address with the Training Fund if you move, the Local Union does not provide the Training Fund with address changes).
Journey Workers: Yes, our policy is to have enrollment of at least five trainees prior to conducting a training class because of finances. If one sees a class on the schedule on the website, it may be canceled if we do not receive registered trainees. However, with required refresher training we will conduct a refresher class for less than five since we have an investment in the prior initial class training.
Where are the training classes held?
The training classes are held at the following locations:
524 South 22nd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104
- Northeast Environmental Technology Center (NEET Center)
1300 Old Plank Road
Mayfield, PA 18433
465 Allentown Drive
Allentown, PA 18103
241 State Route 14
Trout Run, PA 17771
FAQ For Apprentices
What do laborers do?
Laborers are a skilled support craft for other trades and are generalists in the Construction Industry.
Their work involves:
Heavy and highway construction work, transmission utility pipe line construction and building trades support for Union Contractors. Union Laborers also participate in utility maintenance projects and environmental remediation.
The Laborers’ District Council of Eastern Pennsylvania Joint Education and Training Trust Fund as well as the Apprenticeship Committee will not discriminate against apprenticeship applicants or apprentices based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, genetic information, or because they are an individual with a disability or a person 40 years old or older and will take affirmative action to provide equal opportunity in apprenticeship and will operate the apprenticeship program as required under Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 30.
Will the G.I. Bill cover any portion of the apprenticeship?
We do participate with the Veterans Administration and the G.I. Bill for reporting of your work and training hours for your participation in the program.
How much money does it cost to attend?
It costs the Apprentice nothing to attend the training classes. However, it is necessary that all Apprentices join the Local Union during the first 1,000 work hours of the on-the-job training portion in the program.
What does the aptitude test cover?
The knowledge test administered by the Apprenticeship Program covers tools, equipment and construction materials identification. There are sections on OSHA safety requirements and math calculations in terms of surface area, volume and quantities.
On this website there is a Apprentice Test Study Guide, that is recommended viewing for anyone who is scheduled to participate in the Apprentice knowledge test.
Can an Apprentice have an outside job while attending?
Yes, however, the work hours toward the completion of the Apprentice Program can only be submitted from work obtained through currently signed Union Contractors.
Are there any age limits or issues with a prior criminal record?
An applicant must be at least 17 years of age to complete an application, and 18 to work on a construction site. Some work assignments require a background check, i.e. public schools construction projects and work at nuclear power plants. However, to apply to the Apprenticeship Program there is no screening with criminal background checks.
Do I need any prior experience?
No, our selection and ranking process is based solely on the knowledge test ranking score (please use the Apprentice Test Study Guide on this web site prior to taking the knowledge test). There is a minimum score requirement of 70% to be successful for selection into the Apprenticeship Program. Selected and ranked applicants are either offered a position at the time of testing or placed on a waiting list, depending on the outcome of the test score results and how many Apprentices the Local Union requests.
Do you have medical and retirement benefits?
Each Local Union has its own negotiated medical, retirement and training benefit package, which are paid for separately from the wages, through contributions from signatory Union Contractors.
Do you find employers for Apprentices, or do I have to find a sponsor?
An apprentice works at the calling, with our Local Unions and Signatory Contractors. Each Local Union will send their Apprentices out to work when a call out for work is received.
How long is the Apprentice Program?
The length of the Apprenticeship Program is 312 hours of class room training and 4,000 hours of on the job training. We usually complete the training hours in 2 years. However, on the job training hours may take longer, depending on the available work.
Can I get a copy of the wage package?
The Journey Worker Laborer wage rates and benefits package are collectively bargained between the Laborers Union and its Signatory Contractors Associations. Wages are based on skills, skills are achieved through training. The prevailing wage rates vary between each Local Unions geographic area. Our contract year runs from May 1 to April 30 each year. The wages and benefits increase based on those time frames.
What is the work forecast in the future?
There is no way to predict the forecast for construction work. Most Union Construction projects are funded through government infrastructure spending. However, there is no job security in the construction industry.
Are your training classes worth college credit?
No, the Apprentice Training is proprietary to our program only.
How often do you accept applications to the Apprentice Program?
The Local Unions within the Eastern Pennsylvania District Council of Laborers’ accept applications all year, continuously. However, we conduct knowledge testing whenever a Local Union requests more apprentices based on retirement of current members and outlook for work opportunities.
What are the requirements to apply to the Laborers Apprenticeship Program in Eastern Pennsylvania?
The applicant must be 17 years of age, there is no other age requirements.
The applicant must have a valid Pennsylvania Driver’s License.
The applicant must apply at the Local Union Office that the applicant chooses to join.
The applicant must successfully score 70% or above on a knowledge test that the Apprentice Program provides. Please see Apprentice Test Study Guide on this web site.
The applicant must reside in one of the 29 counties of the Eastern Pennsylvania District Council.
The applicant must be physically able to do the work of a Laborer.