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In a few short months, construction is set to begin on the new entertainment and sports center (ESC) at the Sacramento Downtown Plaza. Designed to be an iconic space that reflects and celebrates the best of Sacramento with environmental and technological innovation, the ESC is a multi-use facility that will accommodate games, concerts and other indoor entertainment shows. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2016, the downtown arena is a once-in-a-generation transformative project with long lasting effects for Sacramento and the community.

The Sacramento Kings are committed to ensuring that the ESC creates positive economic benefits that are felt locally. No one knows what will best improve the Sacramento Community better than Sacramentans. To this end a diverse group of stakeholders have collaborated around this historic moment to develop the innovative “Priority Apprenticeship Program.”

Program partners include the City of Sacramento, Turner Construction, Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA), local business chambers, faith-based organizations and the Sacramento-Sierra Building and Construction Trades Council.

Through this program, we will recruit, train and deploy at least 70 “priority apprentices” from underserved backgrounds and neighborhoods as construction. To qualify, individuals must possess “Priority Criteria” demonstrated through high need for work opportunities such as being low-income, homeless, a veteran or an ex-offender and/or live in the area’s lowest income zip codes. Also, individuals must meet separate criteria for specific construction apprenticeship programs with the Sacramento-Sierra Building and Construction Trades Council.

We’ve also partnered with key agencies, community groups, including the Greater Sacramento Urban League, Sacramento ACT, the Center for Employment Training (CET), the Asian Resource Center, La Familia, American River College and the Northern California Construction Training (NCCT) to help identify potential apprentices.

The apprentice program is an investment in the future of Sacramento. Due to the visibility of the project, we are in a position to empower individuals who are unemployed, underemployed and otherwise economically in need. This program will help low income and otherwise disadvantaged individual’s jumpstart careers in the building and construction trades and build a pathway to the middle class. Putting Sacramentans back to work ensures that the community will be able to invest in local establishments and generate growth throughout the city.

The construction of the ESC, revitalization of Downtown Sacramento and additional investment and development brings unparalleled economic resurgence, jobs and new opportunities in work and education for the most deserving and underserved communities in Sacramento.

Learn more about this program here.