Ride and Decide

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For every 4 skilled workers that leave the construction industry,

only 1 is entering the field


The Ride and Decide program is the PHCC of California's answer to this pressing issue.

As good stewards of the community and the industry, PHCC of California feels it is their responsibility to help correct this problem before it is almost impossible to address.

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

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The construction trades are suffering from the lack of skilled, trained workers. 

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At the current rate, when the next two generations of tradesmen/women retire in 40 years there will be virtually no one to train.

This affects PHCC Contractor Member’s businesses and one can only imagine the effect to the consumer in years to come.

For many students, college is the answer but for others, it can be trade school. For others, it can be a combination of on-the-job apprentice training with trade schools or specific college courses. Careful planning with all the right information can save families hard-earned dollars, help the economy, and potentially give a young persona jump start to their future.

As business owners, educators and good neighbors, the PHCC of California has a responsibility to the community, the industry and all consumers to provide the best information possible for students to make the best future plans for their child as well as the best financial plans for their family and personal situation.

How Ride and Decide Works:

  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.

  2. The program may also be introduced to individual students through their guidance counselor, vocational/technical teacher or PHCC member.

  3. Each student will receive an application form and brochure fully explaining the “CAPHCC Ride and Decide Program”.

  4. After hearing from representatives for all 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 decline or complete the remainder of the form applying to participate in the program.

  5. Those choosing to participate in the program will be asked 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Students will have an opportunity to work an additional four weeks paired with another contractor of their choosing if availability exists.

  10. 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.

The Program Mission

Offering options through high schools and their administrators can encourage students toward this profession for those who have not decided what to do after graduation.


For eligibility, the 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

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Ready To Help a Young Person Find Their Way?

  • Employers will be required to sign a Release for the PHCC and the educational institution before enrolling in the program.
  • Employers will be required to educate their staff on the CA Labor Laws and restrict their student employment activities according to the law.
  • Employers 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, contact:
Deborah K. Maus, CAE Executive Vice President 
916-925-7390 or evp@caphcc.org