Guest Opinion - Elk Grove Community Workforce Training Agreement will deny prevailing wage opportunities to working families, women and veterans

By Lindsay Fitzgerald | Special to Elk Grove News | 

On Wednesday the 26th, the Elk Grove City Council will vote on a Community Workforce Training Agreement (CWTA) with the Sacramento Sierra Building and Construction Trades Council and AFL-CIO that will prevent a majority of local skilled and trained construction professionals from working and earning prevailing wages right here in their own backyard giving local jobs to union-only workers.

For years, the City of Elk Grove has operated with a construction bidding policy that ensured a fair playing field regardless of labor affiliation and delivered quality workmanship our community could count on.

The CWTA is missing language that secures equal opportunity for your friends, neighbors, and working family members in construction.  The city had the opportunity to include this language but chose not to.

As a female plumbing apprentice in the region, I rely on work opportunities like Elk Grove Public Works Projects to work and support my family. I am concerned that the City will be excluding skilled members of the community, like myself, from getting work. I am, along with many other non-union workers equally, if not more, experienced and qualified. 

I’m a proud student of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC NorCal) apprenticeship program, a trade association that represents those of us working in building commercial, industrial, public work, and affordable housing projects with state and federally-approved apprenticeship programs.

We all know Northern California is an expensive place to live and where it’s extremely difficult to make a wage that supports a family, buys a home, and maintains a good quality of life. Yet, I can do that through this apprenticeship training program, and it is imperative that it remains a possibility in Elk Grove.   I strongly encourage the Elk Grove City Council to support local workers like me and reject this harmful policy.

There is no time to waste, I hope others can learn from my experience – I’m a California success story. For those who want to learn more about ABC NorCal’s apprenticeship training programs, visit the organization’s website at If you’re looking for a chance to build a career in California’s construction industry, now is the time to take that leap.

Lindsay Fitzgerald is an ABC Northern California Plumbing Apprentice and works at KS Plumbing, Inc.

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