Arizona Announces BuildItAZ Apprenticeship Initiative Grant Awards to Expand the Construction and Trades Workforce 

Latest Trends presented by Doug Walls, Chief Economist and Labor Information Director

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Office of Governor Katie Hobbs logo

Phoenix, AZ – Governor Hobbs is announcing more than $650,000 in grant awards to five construction and trades registered apprenticeship programs. This round is the first phase of Governor Hobbs multi faceted BuildItAZ Apprenticeship Initiative to advance the state’s skilled construction workforce. The initiative aims to double the number of construction trades registered apprentices by 2026 to support Arizona’s growing economy and to connect Arizonans with good paying, quality jobs.

“From electricians to heavy equipment operators and more, Arizona needs trades and craftspeople to support our thriving economy,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “At the same time, we are opening paths to opportunity for workers in every corner of our state by eliminating barriers to effective training programs. With this initial investment and future investments, we expect to meet the demands of new industries and give every Arizonan a chance at a good-paying job.” 

“These grants and partnerships with high quality registered apprenticeship programs will offer financial assistance for first-year tuition, books and more for roughly 250 new apprentices in the next year who will be earning while learning in a high growth and well paying job in the building trades,” said Office of Economic Opportunity CEO Carlos Contreras, the state agency leading the implementation of BuildItAZ for the state. 

The BuildItAZ Apprenticeship Initiative first round grantees are:

  • Arizona Building Trades and Council
  • Phoenix Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program
  • Rummel Construction
  • The Laborers Training and Retraining Trust of Arizona
  • Tucson Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program

“Our focus is to grow and diversify our workforce in a way that sustainably meets the unprecedented needs of the work coming across all of Arizona,” said Arizona Building and Construction Trades Council President Aaron Butler. “This grant will allow us to continue to recruit and educate underserved and under-represented communities about these opportunities and provide a direct path to entry through the Trades Build Futures program. The wrap-around services this grant will allow us to provide will allow more people than ever to achieve economic prosperity.” 

“This generous funding has become a beacon of hope for our aspiring apprentices, especially those hailing from disadvantaged communities,” said Phoenix Electrical JATC Apprenticeship Program Director Shawn Hutchinson. “With the economy posing formidable challenges, the assistance provided through this grant significantly alleviates the financial burden on our students as they embark on their first year of training.” 

“Rummel Construction, Inc. is honored to be chosen for the grant and to be partnering in the BuildItAZ Apprenticeship Initiative,” said Rummel Construction Human Resources Manager Allison Moore. “The funding will be instrumental in advancing our internal apprenticeship programs, which play a pivotal role in bridging the skills gap and developing the next generation of skilled construction professionals. We hope to not only strengthen our workforce, but also contribute to the overall economic growth of our community.”

“Governor Hobbs’ support will undoubtedly have a significant impact on our efforts to recruit and place new members in the construction industry, ultimately contributing to the growth and development of our communities and to Build Arizona,” said The Laborers Training and Retraining Trust of Arizona, Local 1184, Business Manager Secretary-Treasurer Michael S. Dea. “Furthermore, with this generous contribution, we can embark on the construction of a state-of-the-art facility, promoting the development and enhancement of skills among our members,” 

“Our Apprenticeship Program is an all-inclusive program providing quality education to individuals pursuing a career in the electrical field,” said Tucson Electrical Joint Apprenticeship & Training Program Training Director Karen King. “This grant funding will enhance hands-on application in a controlled classroom environment. Since our apprentices spend 80% of their apprenticeship in the field gaining skill and knowledge from skilled journeyworkers. Our goal is to provide our students with the necessary skill, knowledge and experience to be a successful craftsman in the electrical field.” 

This grant program was made possible by a portion of Arizona’s federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funding through the Office of Economic Opportunity. This first round of investments is expected to create additional training capacity for at least 1,500 apprentices over the next 2 years. OEO expects to do another round of funding later this year.

For more information, please visit the BuildItAZ Grants page.