California Apprenticeship Council to Require Green Technology Training

Some changes to the new training criteria that trades in California have made include plumbers adding geothermal and hydroponic solar water systems to their core training skills and electricians incorporating energy-efficient systems.

Starting next year, all construction apprentices in California will receive instruction on green building practices as a component of their training.

The California Apprenticeship Council (CAC) recently approved integration of environmental components into minimum industry training criteria for the building construction trades apprenticeship programs. The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DIR/DAS) was instrumental in working with the 23 trades to create the criteria.

“California is poised for success in the greening of commercial and residential construction,” said DIR Director John C. Duncan. “This move will help California’s workforce gain the skillset needed to satisfy green building standards.”

With the adoption of the new training criteria, apprenticeship programs in the building construction trades statewide will have one year to update their standards accordingly. The green guidelines for each industry must include a designated length of training, work processes of on-the-job training including recycling, reusing and preservation of resources, and competency testing.

Some changes to the new training criteria that trades in California have made include plumbers adding geothermal and hydroponic solar water systems to their core training skills, electricians incorporating energy-efficient systems, and eleven different occupations within the carpentry trade incorporating recycling and reuse practices. For a full list of trades and their minimum industry training criteria visit

DAS marked the approval of the green training criteria with an advance preview of the “I Built It – Green” video at a recent CAC meeting.

“The ‘I Built It – Green’ video highlights the need for green building practices as part of a comprehensive apprenticeship program in the construction trades, so it was appropriate that we screen it at today’s meeting,” Duncan said. “The video will be distributed to apprenticeship programs statewide as well as California construction businesses and associations.”

The California Apprenticeship Council issues regulations to carry out the intent of the state apprenticeship law and sets the general policy under which this program operates.

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