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Tucson’s Treasure Teaches More Than Home Building Skills to Learners in the Career YES Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Career YES Pre-Apprenticeship Program is the Foundation of the Career YES Training Institute at TUL

October 31, 2017

TUCSON, AZ, October 31, 2017 – Nestled prominently in the Old Pueblo Trolley Museum, the Career YES Pre-Apprenticeship Program classes are in session where native-Tucson’s Tom Jacobs, Home Building Institute (HBI), instructs learners in the building trade skills, and, self-discipline, responsibility, cleanliness, safety, dress codes, math, employability, unions, construction worksites, maturity, honesty, team work, proper lifting techniques and tips for successful completion of the 13-week training program.
Jacobs, a no-nonsense skills developer, is a community role-model and stickler for laying out the ground rules on day-one of class. “No cell phones during learning sessions – stay off of them,” Jacobs tells his class of fourteen students. “Wear belts with your trousers and if you don’t have a belt, go buy one at the thrift store,” he continues speaking of the proper construction dress code and how it applies to safety on-the-job.
Students in the Career YES Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program are ages 16-24 and currently not in school or not employed. This program gives these students – “opportunity youth” – a chance to create new futures for themselves and their families while earning $200 per week to learn. According to education leaders in Tucson, there are an estimated 25,000 “opportunity youth” in Pima County, Arizona. Jacobs offers his learners years of professional career knowledge and experience.
A graduate of University of Arizona’s School of Architecture in 1979, Jacobs has been an architect in both California and Arizona. His current construction instructor positions include teaching for both Home Builders Institute (HBI) and Pima Community College. As a previous high school construction teacher, he holds an Arizona Department of Education Construction Technology Teaching Certificate and is also a governing board member of the Flowing Wells School District. His completed works include a runway and buildings at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, shopping centers, high-rise buildings, commercial interiors and hospitals.
“When the construction market collapsed in 2008, I started teaching in the Joint Technical Education District in the Tucson United School District,” said Jacobs. He is licensed in Arizona as an Arizona architect and an Arizona high school teacher. In addition, he is an owners’ representative/construction administrator for the Arizona Deaf and Blind School, Sahuarita Unified School District and the Catalina Foothills School District. His residential construction experience includes employment with Del Webb Sun City and DR Horton Homes.
“If you can speak the ‘lingo,’ chances are you will get the job and on job sites, you will need to take your lunches, so, you will also need to bring your lunches here, too. Not enough time to run out to McDonald’s!” Jacobs tells his learners as he points over to a lunch box sitting on one of the round, wooden-top classroom tables.
The current session of Career YES Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program classes in the home building trades are in their seventh week as Jacobs, the Tucson Urban League (TUL) team and training partners prepare for the January 2018 class; which will be the second session of these classes held at the Old Pueblo Trolley Museum – the vintage transportation preservation site that is completely staffed with volunteers and funded by the Tucson community.
Deborah Embry, president and CEO of TUL said, “As part of our on-going employment and workforce development missions here in Tucson, we have added the Career YES Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program to TUL’s Career YES Training Institute to provide more occupational and employment choices to our residents who are seeking work, changing careers or exploring new career options and between the ages of 16 and 24. Pima County Employment OneStops and Arizona@Work both give us many inroads to career path discoveries and career developments  for the citizens of Tucson.” Behind the scenes, Byron Christopher and Beatriz Canez are representatives of TUL who recruit and manage Career YES Pre-Apprenticeship learner candidates at Arizona@Work/Pima County OneStops.

UL is a citizen’s assistance partner that provides employment applications, job leads and job training. In addition to employment, TUL helps and guides emerging entrepreneurs, assists and promotes small business development, offers housing assistance, utility bills payments, home ownership and foreclosure counseling, delivers home weatherization, provides after-school and daytime childcare, provides pathways to higher education, senior meals and activities and more.

The ninety-seventh affiliate of the National Urban League, TUL was founded in 1971 by a Tucson Chamber of Commerce leader named Henry Quinto. Its mission is to advance economic prosperity for African Americans and underserved populations in the Tucson area. As of 2016, TUL has served over 15,000 minority and low-income citizens.

For more information on TUL’s Career YES Pre-Apprenticeship Program, stop-in at 2305 South Park Avenue, or call Donna Baker X at 520-202-5356.

Press Release Links:
Tucson Urban League Helps Families Feeling the Heat of Unexpected Utility Bill
Youth Employment’s Impact on Individuals and Communities
Social Venture Partners Tucson Selects Tucson Urban League as Newest Investee
Tucson Urban League Works to Rehabilitated to Help Families and Community

For More Information on the Tucson Urban League and Events Please Contact:
Anita Smith-Etheridge,  Executive Assistant to CEO
(520) 202-5361