Thursday, February 6, 2014

Building Careers as well as Infrastructure at the Seismic Upgrade of Bay Division Pipelines Nos. 3&4

Through the Cypress Mandela Training Center and Project Build, WSIP is helping apprentices from underserved communities to build their careers while upgrading the Bay Area’s critical water infrastructure. The Seismic Upgrade of BDPL Nos. 3&4 project has consistently supported opportunities for these apprentices.

When labor relations specialist Brian Thomas dropped by Fremont this week, he caught up with DeAndre Washington, an apprentice he helped to place with the job site, and his foreman Lisa Ross, to see how things were going.

DeAndre Washington, Lisa Ross and Brian Thomas

Washington is a graduate of the San Mateo County Project Build program. He grew up in East Palo Alto, and entered Project Build at the age of 21. With the help of his mother, DeAndre and his family moved to Hayward while he learned the construction trade. Having completed a total of 3,200 apprentice hours with 2,600 hours on the Bay Tunnel project and over 600 hours on the Seismic Upgrade project, Ross says that he has made a lasting impression on his current team. Washington has also benefited from the mentorship of Steve P. Rados’ construction team including Jim Pelletier, Tony Ferencik and Jack Beale.

DeAndre Washington prepares a pipe segment with a 
PTFE-coated bottom for sliplining beneath the freeway.

As the SFPUC invests in our critical infrastructure with projects like the Bay Tunnel and the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project, we will continue to provide apprenticeships and opportunities for local and underserved communities.

The Cypress Mandela Training Center is a community based organization dedicated to improving the lives of the people it serves by providing pre-apprentice construction and life skills training along with employment assistance. To learn more about their training programs, visit

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