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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
    Cesar Chavez

    :: Sunday, March 05, 2006 ::

    Building a workforce, one apprentice at a time - By Steven Friederich, Grays Harbor Daily World, WA
    Tethered high from a safety harness and some rope, Hoquiamite Josh Charlie could well be mistaken for a trapeze artist.

    Charlie, who completed the carpentry program at Grays Harbor College three years ago, is now putting his classroom skills to the test.

    He’s one of several apprentices working on the new instructional building at the college under a new state law that requires state public works construction sites to employ a minimum number of apprentices.

    “I’ve gone from being in the classroom to building classrooms,” he quips with a grin.

    The Legislature is also considering a law this session that would require Department of Transportation work sites to use apprentices. Many private job sites already voluntarily use apprentices.

    Unions have put a high priority on apprentice programs as not only a way to boost membership but to make sure even non-union workers are properly trained.
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