By: Stephanie Salinas
Kunal Merchant, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the Sacramento Kings sat down with SacLatino and few other media groups to emphasize the city, as well as the Kings,’ effort to ensure underserved communities are given priority through what is known as an Apprenticeship Program.
|Kunal Merchant, VP of Strategic Initiatives for |
Folks seeking a career in the construction industry or contribute to the construction of the Sacramento Kings Arena come Fall 2014, now is the time.
Merchant said, “This is a great opportunity because of the visibility of the project to educate people who are unemployed, underemployed, economically disadvantaged but really wants a good career.”
This program was created by securing partnerships with Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, or SETA, La Familia Counseling Center, The Urban League, and many more.
In addition, Merchant stated, “What we have been focused on is making sure that everybody in Sacramento from all walks of life has a chance to benefit and be touched by this project. And that starts with the jobs.”
The Apprenticeship Programs begin with the partnerships to reach out and engage members of the community who are in low-income areas locally. This focuses especially in the Latino, African American and API communities.
Once obtaining a position, training and the opportunity to work on the project is given. However, apprentices must also do their part in maintaining their position.
"Everything is competitive. Everybody who gets to work on this project will have to compete for and earn that position. That goes for business, who's trying to get a contract and goes for a worker who's trying to keep his job," said Merchant.
Approximately one-fifth of the $270 million of the construction’s budget will be allocated for the program. On site, the number of construction workers ranges 1,200-1,500 held at any point time throughout the project.
Ultimately, Merchant said, “This is a chance to get them into a pipeline to the middle class through the apprenticeship program.”
For information on how to get started with the arena apprenticeship program contact SETA via phone: