Charleston Job Corps Center

Charleston Job Corps student joins the Union

September 9th, 2019

Da’shawn Sykes, a current student in Charleston Job Corps’ painting program operated by the Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), recently completed several painting assignments in the community as a part of his work-based learning. His work ethic and skills, reported by those who were supervising him in those community service projects, have led new opportunities for additional training and a promising career with the union.
Sykes has been accepted into the apprenticeship program of IUPAT, starting immediately, and is now officially part of IUPAT District Council #53. His first union assignment is working for a union contractor on projects for the Department of Highways. He will be assisting with building and painting garages. Once that assignment is complete, he will be assigned to other projects.
The three-year apprenticeship program combines on-the-job and classroom training. First-year apprentices are paid 60% of the journeyman wage but have the same benefit package, which includes pension, health and life insurance. They also have the opportunity to continue in the program toward journeyman status.
To move to the second level of the apprenticeship program, each apprentice must complete 1000 hours of on-the-job training and 144 hours of classroom training at the DC# 53 training center in Weston, WV. Classroom training is offered in most IUPAT trades, including drywall finishing, commercial and industrial painting and glazing.
With the completion of each level, apprentices receive a 10% raise until they complete the apprenticeship program and reach journeyman status.
Sykes is in the final phase of his job training at Charleston Job Corps, and will begin a training class through IUPAT at the Weston training center when he completes his painting program here at CJCC.
During his training at Charleston Job Corps, Sykes served as the painting program’s shop foreman and worked on community painting projects at the Bream Church and the West Virginia Breast Health Initiative.
Originally from Richmond, VA, Sykes plans to relocate to West Virginia to complete the apprenticeship program with IUPAT and become a journeyman painter.