About Apprenticeship

What is an apprenticeship program?
An apprenticeship program is an organized system of on-the-job training supplemented by related technical instruction, in which the apprentice learns by doing, and earns while learning. The apprentice will be indentured by the Joint Labor Management Apprenticeship Committee (JAC), which will monitor the apprentice’s progress for the four years of the program.

What does “indenture” mean?
The term “indenture” describes the contractual relationship under which the apprentice, the labor union, the employer, and the Division of Apprenticeship Standards sign an agreement that specifies the terms of the apprenticeship. These parties, under the regulations prescribed by the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards and the monitoring by the JAC ensure that the indentured employee receives the requisite training to prepare him/her for an eventual position as a fully qualified Stationary Engineer.

What is the term of apprenticeship?
The standard term of the Stationary Engineers Apprenticeship program is four years. During this four-year period the apprentice, as any other employee, is expected to perform all assigned duties as a full-time employee and, in addition, continue his/her studies outside of work at a training facility provided by the Local 39 Training Department, or at a local community college. During this four-year period the apprentice will become increasingly proficient in all facets of stationary engineer work including knowledge of boilers, air conditioning and refrigeration, automatic controls, general maintenance, and plant management.

What are the goals of the program?
It is the goal of Local 39 and the program to produce highly qualified and well trained workers who have solid knowledge as well as specific, technical job skills.

What is the Local 39 Joint Apprenticeship Committee?
The JAC is a joint labor/management committee made up of ten representatives, five of whom shall be selected by and represent the employer organizations, and five of whom shall be selected by and represent the employee organizations. A representative from the Division of Apprenticeship Standards along with a representative from the local community college also serve in an advisory capacity.

What is the purpose and jurisdiction of the Joint Apprenticeship Committee?
The Joint Apprenticeship Committee and Advisory Committee shall supervise the Stationary Engineers Apprenticeship program in all forty-seven (47) northern counties of California and all counties in Nevada except Clark, Lincoln, Esmeralda, and Nye. Local Sub-Joint Apprenticeship Committees are established in Sacramento, Oakland, Reno, Fresno, and San Jose. These Sub-Joint Apprenticeship Committees shall administer the Apprenticeship program locally as provided in the Apprenticeship Standards of the Northern California and Northern Nevada Stationary Engineers handbook.

How does one become an apprentice?
The following steps occur when an individual makes a decision to apply for a Local 39 Stationary Engineer Apprenticeship:

    1. An application for the examination has to be filed within the time period as specified in the announcement.
    2. Providing the applicant meets the established minimum requirements, a test date will be assigned.
    3. The test is conducted, and providing the applicant passes the exam, the applicant will be placed on an Eligible Hiring List, which is ranked as to the score achieved.
    4. Potential employers are permitted to interview the top three (3) eligible applicants from the “Eligible Applicant List”, also referred to as “The Approved Hiring List”. Employers are required to get a clearance from the Joint Apprenticeship Committee prior to hiring any apprentice.
    5. In-plant promotion applicants who are on the “Eligible Applicant List” can be hired out of sequence by two methods. (a) The applicant must be currently employed in a full time capacity by the approved firm. This employment must have been for a continuous period of over six months in another occupational classification before the date of the written test, or (b), the applicant must be currently employed in a full time capacity by the approved firm and providing that this employment has been for a period of twelve months or more of continuous service in another occupation classification the applicant will become eligible for an in-plant promotion.
    6. When an applicant is selected by an employer an Apprenticeship Indenture is effectuated by and between four (4) parties: a. The employer b. The apprentice c. The Union (JAC) d. The State of California/Division of Apprenticeship Standards
    7. The selected applicant commences their Apprenticeship Training Program a. Four (4) years on-the-job training (8000 hours) b. Eight semesters of related supplemental instruction, which equates to a minimum of seven hundred and ninety two (792) hours of related classroom hours.

The Shelly-Maloney Apprentice Labor Standards Act of 1939 governs Local 39’s Apprenticeship Program. The program is primarily funded through contributions from signatory employers. Monetary amounts are negotiated between the Union and the employers. For more information about the Local 39 Apprenticeship Program, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at (415) 285-3939.