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Ride & Decide

CAPHCC Logo - RideNDecide

PHCC of California and THE TRADES


For every 4 skilled workers that leave the construction industry,
only 1 is entering the field.

The construction trades are suffering from the lack of skilled, trained workers.  At the current attrition rate, when the next two generations of tradesmen/women retire in 40 years there will be virtually no one to train.

The effects of this attrition affects the PHCC Contractor Member’s business and one can only imagine the effect to the consumer in years to come.

What is PHCC of California doing about this pressing issue?

As good stewards of the community and our industry, it is our responsibility to help correct this problem before it is such a problem for the next generation that it is almost impossible to address. As business owners, educators and good neighbors to our customers, we have a responsibility to the community, our individual industry and all consumers to provide the best information that we can for students to make the best future plans for their child as well as the best financial plans for their family and personal situation.

For many students, college is the answer but for many other students it could be Trade School. For other students it may be a combination of on the job apprentice training with either Trade School or some specific College courses. Careful planning with all the right information could save families hard earned dollars, help the economy and potentially give a young person a jump start to their future.

The Program Purpose:

Pair students with trade industry contractors to allow them to experience the trade while assisting in paid work functions during their summer school break.

The Mission:

  1. Offer options through High Schools and their Administrators to encourage the students that either cannot decide or have not thought about what to do when they graduate from High School to consider our trades.
  1. Educate the students and their parents on the benefits of working in the industry including:
    1. Competitive wages, get paid while you train
    2. Substantially reduced training and education fees compared to the average four year college degree
    3. Minimal career obsolescence as society will always need plumbing, heating and cooling
    4. Expanded opportunities for career advancement and owning your own business
    5. Flexible hours and mobility, where society is, our careers are needed.
  1. Organize a dedicated group including educators, contractors and administrators that will dedicate the time and effort it takes to establish a successful program as well as set in place a means of keeping it active and remaining successful throughout the years. If properly initiated, promoted and managed, this program will become successful enough to spread throughout the country. Although we are mainly effected by what happens in the HVAC and Plumbing industries, not all students will be interested in our trades, therefore this program must include all facets of the construction and service trades to attract as many students as possible and be a success.  
  1. Initiate the first step to form an alliance with other select trades to set forth the final plan for the program and the method of initiating it. Each individual trade will be responsible for forming their own group of contractors to promote their trade and participate in the program.


The Pilot Program

Student eligibility, student must:

 be at least 16 years of age before starting the program

 have completed their sophomore year of high school

 have at least a C average and excellent school attendance

 have reliable transportation to and from work location

 be recommended to the program by an educator, school administrator or PHCC member

 obtain parental permission with a Release for the PHCC and educational institution

 adhere strictly to the attendance and employment regulations required by the employer

 adhere strictly to the CA Child Labor Laws


The Procedure:

  1. The program will be introduced to an entire incoming Sophomore class and their parents or guardians at the beginning of the year at a Career Planning Day.
  1. The program may also be introduced to individual students through their Guidance Counselor, Vocational/Technical Teacher or PHCC member.
  1. Each student will receive an application form and brochure fully explaining the “CAPHCC Ride and Decide Program”.
  1. After hearing from representatives for all the different trades, every incoming Junior student will be asked to complete the form and answer questions concerning their interests after high school. At this time they will have the opportunity to either decline to participate in the program or to complete the remainder of the form applying to participate in the program.
  1. Those choosing to participate in the program will be asked on the form to choose from a list of trades their first and second choices that they would be interested in working in during the upcoming summer vacation.
  1. Students will be drawn and matched to an area business in one of their selected fields, based on availability of participating businesses, to experience the everyday workplace of their selection.
  1. Each participating student will have the opportunity to work four weeks of the summer for that business. Each student will be compensated by the employer at least minimum wage.
  1. At the end of the four weeks, students will be asked to answer a questionnaire regarding their summer job experience and will have the opportunity to ask any questions concerning the pursuit of a career and/or an education in that field.
  1. Students will have an opportunity to work an additional four weeks paired with another contractor if they choose and availability exists.
  1. Students who have developed a positive working relation with their summer employer may be able to secure a job during the upcoming Senior year thru a Co-op program or Senior Project. For those students who choose to pursue a college education or select college courses related to a selected trade, arrangements will be made with their individual high schools to help them with those applications also. Either way, every family has a better opportunity to make the right decision.

Employer Participation:

  1. Each employer will be required to sign a Release for the PHCC and the educational institution before enrolling in the program.
  1. Each employer will be required to educate their staff on the CA Labor Laws and restrict their student employment activities according to the law.
  1. Each employer realizes that the student is working to gain knowledge about the profession and assist their employees with their tasks. Broad based experiences are preferred but at the contractor’s discretion.

For information on starting a pilot program in your area, contact:

Deborah K. Maus, CAE Executive Vice President
916-925-7390 or

Note: The PHCC of California Board of Directors & Staff acknowledge the PHCC of Tennessee Board of Directors and Executive Director Beth Killen for their work in creating the base model that all PHCC Chapters will utilize / modify for their particular region.  We thank them for their hard work and dedication.