Workers Will Urge Senate Committee on Tuesday Not to Limit Prison Jobs
Senate Bill 825 to prohibit pre-apprenticeship programs harms women, minorities, veterans
LIVERMORE, Calif., March 19, 2018—
Construction industry workers will address the Senate Public Safety Committee at its hearing on Tuesday, March 20, at 9:30 a.m. They will ask for rejection of Senate Bill 825, which would limit the job opportunities that are turning many Californians’ lives around.
Veteran construction worker Sergio Cortez will point out the harmful effects SB 825 would have on the post-prison lives of inmates when he testifies before the committee. He will take aim at one provision of SB 825 that would eliminate the pre-apprenticeship curricula developed by the National Center for Construction Education and Research. A curriculum that has trained many ex-convicts, and, according to Cortez, is still being used in Folsom and other prisons around the state.
Cortez is the workforce development director for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Northern California, which represents 500 large and small construction companies across Northern California. Eighty percent of construction jobs in California are provided by contractors not signed to a collective bargaining agreement. Senate Bill 825 would hinder the opportunity of formerly incarcerated people to work on prison projects.
“What Sergio and others will point out to the committee is that one provision contained in Senate Bill 825 will do the very opposite of what the measure seeks to accomplish, and that is prepare convicts for a successful life after prison,” said Michele Daugherty, president and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Northern California. “Sergio’s compelling story will give the committee a new perspective on this issue.”
In a guest editorial published today in Fox & Hounds, Daugherty wrote, “Senate Bill 825 is a proposal my association … could support in principle (the critical training of inmates for a life after jail) were it not for the Project Labor Agreement and the insidious insertion of a clause banning our nationally accredited pre-apprentice training curricula, and those of others, in favor of union-only training curricula.”
Senate Public Safety Committee
Tuesday, March 20
Representing more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms nationwide, the Associated Builders and Contractors was founded in 1950 and today has 70 chapters with 22,000 members. The ABC NorCal chapter started in 1976 and now represents 500 large and small companies across Northern California.