Accessing Union Apprenticeships Conference

November 4, 2022

Accessing Union Apprenticeships is a free, engaging conference for all education, industry and community stakeholders who are interested in providing access to high-wage, high-skilled, high-demand careers in the building trades.

  • Tour metro-area union apprenticeship training centers
  • Engage in hands-on trades breakout sessions
  • Take applied learning lessons plans back to the classroom
  • Network with industry and apprenticeship partners
  • Meet apprentices and hear their real-world stories
  • Learn what an ideal trades candidate looks like
  • Gain an understanding of apprenticeship and how it changes lives
  • Find out how you can support youth into entering these high wage, high demand careers
Email with questions.


Morning Plenary

LiUNA Laborer’s Training Center, 17242 NE Sacramento St, Portland, OR 97230
7:45 AM          Registration– pick up your color-coded name tag and swag bag
                         Breakfast and Opening Remarks – Aida Aranda, LiUNA Training Director
                         Portrait of a Tradesperson – Isis Harris, IBEW Local 48 Journey Inside Electrician
                         Connecting Diverse Students to High Quality Careers in the Trades – Kelly Haines and Janine Weir
9:25 AM         Meet your tour group at the designated pick-up area (Blue group can remain in the auditorium)


Tours and Breakout Sessions

Afternoon Plenary

2:00–2:45 PM        Constructing a Diverse Workforce with Mark Brenner

2:45–3:30 PM         Pre-Apprentice and Apprentice Panel

3:30                          Raffle of door prizes (be present to win!)

3:45                          Conclude     

Plenary Sessions

Portrait of a Tradesperson with Isis Harris

Keynote: Connecting diverse students to high quality careers in the trades with Kelly Haines and Janine Weir
Janine Weir and Kelly Haines will speak to the partnership in Beaverton School District to build out a magnet Construction Trades program for diverse students in the region. Working directly with union apprenticeship programs in the building trades and the carpenters, this program’s curriculum was directly designed with input from industry experts, including providing guidance on how to remodel and overhaul the physical space and ensure a robust process to connect middle and high school students into registered apprenticeship and be set up for success. By directly connecting with industry, this program is highly responsive to the training and employment needs of contractors and helps to ensure relevance in all aspects of the classroom instruction.

Constructing a Diverse Workforce with Mark Brenner

Pre-Apprentice and Apprentice Panel, moderated by Angie Gilbert
Meet and hear from pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship program participants to learn how they learned about apprenticeship, why they got involved with apprenticeship and what they’ve gained from their experiences on their way to becoming a journeyman in their trade.

Breakout Sessions

Apprenticeship 101 with Loren Burnham

This session will provide an overview of Oregon’s apprenticeship system and program operation from applicant to completion.


Apprenticeship vs College (or both?) with Dawn Loomis

No longer does a person have to choose between college or an apprenticeship. Learn how apprentices earn college credit while completing an apprenticeship. Discover what degrees an apprentice can earn – DEBT-FREE.

Building a Sustainable Workforce Through Youth Pre-apprenticeship moderated by Kathi Morris

Through a panel discussion with some of Oregon’s Youth Pre-Apprenticeship Program providers, get a roadmap for what it takes to build a successful and sustainable pre-apprenticeship program that will lead your students towards high-wage, high-skilled, high-demand career opportunities in the trades.

Creative Ways to Bring Trades Careers to K–8 Students with Lisa Klingsporn

How can you bring awareness of trades careers to K-8 students? This session will provide four different experiences to build awareness of trades careers (and other careers as well) for K-8 students.

Explore the Carpentry Trades | Carpenters with Chopper Smart


Explore the Plumbing Trades | Plumbers


Fabricating Conduit Runs with Trigonometry | Electricians with Laura Benedict

Electrical conduit provides a protected pathway for electrical conductors as they are routed from point A to point B. Learn how electricians use trigonometry every day to create the art form that is the pride of the electrical industry.

You will practice some basic conduit bending and walk away with the sample you do in class and a lesson plan so you can recreate the experience for your students. Enter the raffle for a chance to win the tools and materials needed for your class!

Introduction to Environmental Remediation | Laborers with Ryan Leffell

Be Amazed & Have Fun! Apply STEM in hands-on instruction and simulated real-world application in a safe controlled environment. Get a picture* of how students get the skills and tools needed to solve problems and be part of the solution in cleaning up our communities and helping create healthier environments for all of us!
*Photo booth op in HAZMAT suits! Create a postcard to promote STEM & Environmental Remediation Trade Careers!  Take away a STEM Lesson plan related to construction environmental remediation.

Not Just Another Brick in the Wall | Bricklayers with Jana Ashton

Have you ever wondered how those brick walls always look so straight and uniform?
Well come and learn how Math and Measuring make it possible. You can also try laying some brick for yourself.  Come prepared to get a little messy and learn about one of the world’s oldest crafts.

Increasing Opportunity for Oregon Learners: Career Connected Learning, Work Based Learning and Pre-Apprenticeships with Beth Molencamp and Brandie Clark

In this session, we will explain the newly developed system of Career Connected Learning in Oregon and the many resources and activities available to students, schools, and industry partners. Explore how Career Connected Learning, including Work-Based Learning, in a CTE Program of Study helps students explore careers in the trades.
Share how industry partners can support efforts to help prepare students for successful careers.

Oregon State Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Training Programs moderated by Aida Aranda

Local Pre-Apprenticeship Program representatives will provide detailed information on their specific programs and answer questions.

Riding Trowel Machines 101 | Cement Masons with Jeremy Kendall

We will be using our new Virtual reality riding trowel machine to let students get an introduction to safety, operation and basic techniques.

What is a Sheet Metal Worker? with Ben Wood

We will be giving a presentation on what Sheet Metal workers do and have a discussion about wages, benefits, apprenticeship specifications, and trade entry.  We will give a tour of our facility and finish off with a project.

Yes, video games can help you find a rewarding career in the trades | Operating Engineers  with  Nathan Stokes

Immerse yourself in the world of heavy equipment operating by running a high-tech computer that simulates real world construction techniques and operations.  Hoisting work (cranes) and excavation work (excavator, loader, dozer) are just a few of the pieces of equipment available for an introduction to the world of heavy equipment operating.