Fremont High School Architecture Academy

Fremont High School Architecture Academy


          Henry Funcke, Local 104 Coordinator | Summary Report | August 8, 2019

Overview of Event

Celebration Unveiling of the improved Fremont High School/Architecture Academy PreApprenticeship shop hosted by Emilio Sanchez, Coordinator of Career Technical Education and Apprenticeships, Oakland Unified School District.

Attended by a large diversified group of attendees including, but not limited to:

  • Various Union representatives of training
  • Various Apprenticeship training coordinators
  • Instructors of the Architecture Academy pre-apprenticeship program
  • Current and former Fremont High School staff
  • Nicholas Esquivel of the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
  • Rising Sun Center for Opportunity representative
  • Current and previous students of the Fremont High School Architecture Academy Pre-Apprenticeship program
  • Parents of current and former students of the program


Well attended event that focused on various speakers (impromptu introduction and call out to the podium by Emilio Sanchez).

The event focused on touring and viewing the newly renovated space that is utilized for pre-apprenticeship training by Fremont High School and the process to achieve the finished product.

Between the self-guided tours there was a presentation hosted by Emilio Sanchez with certain attendees being called upon to speak regarding their present and former involvement status with pre-apprenticeship training at Fremont High School.

The Architectural Academy pre-apprenticeship training is mainly focused on carpentry and woodworking skills. What was impressive was the woodworking tools that were in place for utilization by the students. Multiple new or newer table saws, planers, band saws, and drill presses (as well as hand tools) are available for the students to learn how to safely use.

After the speaker presentations and ribbon (or in this case, 2 x 4 with reciprocating saw) cutting, I was taken on a more in-depth tour of the facility by Emilio and one of the instructors. I was able to gain some better insight into their pre-apprenticeship program by viewing the classrooms, projects and structures they have built, as well as their CAD lab.

I spoke at length with two of the three instructors of the program to gain some insight on what and how they teach as well as their perception of the student’s involvement, attitudes, and success within the program.

Their focus of training was along the MC3 curriculum with extensive safety training regarding the woodworking equipment used by the students.

The ability to follow prints to build a project or wood structure was also a large part of their training as well as hand tool usage and the accuracy required to layout or cut to a specific measurement.

They all agreed that the students showed an active interest in the processes required to create/build something from scratch utilizing the Skills and disciplines they are being taught in the program.

I spoke to the instructors at length about the preliminary skills that would benefit any beginning Union trade apprentice that should be focused on in pre-apprenticeship training such as:

  • Basic trade related math
  • Quickly and accurately reading a tape measure or rule
  • Safety as an attitude/culture for all aspects of construction work in the shop/field
  • Familiarity with, and effective use of basic hand tools
  • Confidence in their skills and abilities to perform tasks
  • Soft skills such as effective communication, acting as a team player, problem solving, resourcefulness, and adaptability.
  • The importance of a good work ethic, dedication to their training and job performance, responsible attendance of training, showing up to the jobsite every day a little early, and striving for excellence in all aspects of their trade or career.

Neither of the instructors I spoke with were aware of the process of applying for the Local 104 apprenticeship training program and asked questions of myself regarding the process. I explained that the minimum requirements would fall right in line with a high school graduate coming out of a pre-apprenticeship program.

I directed them to the website and gave them my card in case they would like to have someone come and speak briefly to the classes regarding the opportunities, benefits, and pathway to a union apprenticeship program such as the Local 104 Sheet Metal apprenticeship program.


I see benefits of pre-apprenticeship training (at any level) to prepare union apprentices to become successful future union journey level persons in any trade.

Outreach to these pre-apprenticeship programs would bring the message of the union apprenticeship programs aspect of “earning while you learn” at no cost (unlike college tuition) and would benefit all union apprenticeship programs by bringing in apprentices with better basic hard and soft skills.

The information of the opportunities, benefits, and the pathways to a union trade apprenticeship program would be the logical next step for any student involved in a preapprenticeship program and interested in the next step to take.

In talking with the instructors, I also realized that information relayed to preapprenticeship instructors at any level (especially in high schools) regarding opportunities of a 4-5 year union apprenticeship training program (and the pay rates/benefits) could be incorporated into the information they present to their students.

One instructor mentioned that he gave out some general information about apprenticeships after high school as an alternative to college to earn a decent wage.

I proposed that he use the incentive of the benefits of a union trade and pursuing a union trade apprenticeship after completing their pre-apprenticeship training and graduation from high school.

End Report