carpenters training groundbreaking 7_21_14

The Carpenters Training Committee for Northern California conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for its Fairfield center, Monday. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

Solano County

Carpenters training center set to expand in Fairfield

By From page A5 | July 23, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A training center for union carpenters and union contractors is expanding amid hopes that the region’s construction industry is making a post-recession comeback.

The Carpenters Training Committee for Northern California conducted a groundbreaking ceremony for the $9.6 million, 45,000-square-foot addition to its Fairfield center. The planned building at 800 Chadbourne Road is to house up to 30 welding booths, a mill cabinet shop, a general shop area and classrooms.

“We need to be prepared for the next up-jump in the economy,” said Bob Alvarado, executive secretary-treasurer for the group. “That’s what you’re seeing today. It’s not a gamble, it’s an investment.”

A few dozen people watched the ceremony on a partly cloudy, windy morning along a vacant, graded lot next to the existing training center building. Mixing together were people wearing suits and ties and people wearing T-shirts, jeans and hard hats.

“This whole thing is about the trade,” Alvarado said. “Not a very glorified career, but rewarding. It takes a special type of person to get into construction these days.”

It’s a life-long education, he said.

Training committee officials began talking about the expansion project in 2007, not long after opening the Fairfield center, Executive Director Randy Gourley said. Ten vacant acres sat next door. Then the economic downturn hit and put things on hold, he said.

“This has been a long time coming,” Gourley said. “In my opinion, this is a historic event.”

Mark Scherchel, vice president of Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction of San Francisco, welcomed the project.

“Being a general contractor, we need good people,” Scherchel said during the groundbreaking ceremony.

Lathrop Construction of Benicia is constructing the expansion building. The building is to be finished in April 2015.

“Essentially, what they get is double the capacity here,” Lathrop Superintendent Pete Peters said as he stood near the construction site.

The Carpenters Training Committee for Northern California provides apprentice, journey-level and other training for union carpenters and contractors in Northern California. It is governed by a joint labor and management trust board. It offers training classes in Fairfield, Hayward, Pleasanton, Fresno and Morgan Hill in craftspeople ranging from carpenters to hardwood floorlayers to millwrights to insulators.

Go to www.ctcnc.org for more information about the group.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Discussion | 6 comments

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  • Rick WoodJuly 22, 2014 - 2:44 am

    We should be proud to have that facility here and expanding. Welcome news!

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  • BobJuly 22, 2014 - 6:08 am

    30 welding booths, seems to me that they are teaching these wood butchers how to take jobs from Ironworkers, Pipe Fitters, they already teach them rebar which was always an Ironworkers job. They are teaching them everybody else's trade because of the big wage hit they took in the 80's, when their District Council decided that by lowering the wages they would get more work, didn't happen, more carpenters went nonunion. Now there's not enough carpentry work so they steal work from their "Brothers-Sisters" Carpenters are like the cheap politicians you buy with pocket change Unfortunately most construction workers don't remember the 70's and 80's That's why I'm reminding you keep your Unions strong, don't look to the Carpenters as an example, check out what Ironworkers local 378 has done in Benicia. You won't find them framing houses there, WE BUILD AMERICA! I did for over 40 years, when you drive over bridges, go into high rise buildings, that's the work We did.

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  • wood butcherJuly 22, 2014 - 5:45 pm

    Quit crying Bob, thought iron workers were tough guys. Go carpenters! We need more jobs..

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  • mikeJuly 22, 2014 - 6:27 pm

    Aw c'mon Bob carpenter's can weld wood

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  • PescadorJuly 23, 2014 - 9:44 am

    Bob, the Pile Drivers-Local 34 that are under the Carpenters need the facility to get certified for the welding they do on our bridges over and under water. Having a welding facility that is closer to our Northern California members will better serve those brothers and sisters. Carpenters do learn basic cutting and welding in a 40 hour class to do small projects but those that want to get certified have to put in the long hours and pass the certification tests. I have always supported the Iron Workers Union and have never taken any of their work. I would be happy for any Union apprenticeship to be growing in my town. I suggest brother Bob you keep your focus on real issues and politics in the economy that keep quality Union work down and stop attacking your Union brothers and sisters. I hope Carpenters keep raising the bar of quality training that leads to life long careers with great pay and benefits.

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  • Joe PsocJuly 23, 2014 - 5:11 pm

    Does the Home Depot have similar training classes for the numerous "craftsmen" in their parking lot?

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