The building trades preapprenticeship program is an apprenticeship readiness program utilizing the North America's Building Trades Unions Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3) curriculum that prepares young people and adults for careers in the construction industry. This program offers individuals the opportunity to receive union-endorsed training, exposure, and a “foot in the door” to a career in the trades. 


Iowa's building trades unions sponsor comprehensive apprenticeship readiness programs (ARPs) throughout Iowa. These programs provide a gateway for local residents – focusing on women, people of color, and youth – to gain access to building trades' registered apprenticeship programs. ARPs are administered by state and local Building Trades Councils and they teach NABTU’s nationally recognized MC3 curriculum, which is a standardized, comprehensive, 120-hour construction course designed to help young people and transitioning adults choose and succed in apprenticeship programs. The MC3 curriculum is taught face-to-face, but it is delivered via NABTU's online learning management system. Our program offers:

  • Exposure to 16 different skilled trades and industry awareness
  • Tours of area Registered Apprenticeship training facilities
  • Construction math and test preparation
  • Introduction to tools, materials, adn blueprint reading
  • Recognized multi-craft core curriculum (MC3)
  • OSHA 10 safety certification
  • Commmunication, time management, financial literacy, and interview skills
  • Improved chance of acceptance into a paid registered apprenticecship training program
  • Connections to apprenticeship training coordinators; and
  • Support toward success in completing apprenticeship training


Bringing Construction Trades Classes Back to the Schools

Certified by a number of State Education Departments, the MC3 is bringing true construction education back into high schools.

The building trades know the importance of introducing, connecting and engaging young people early to harness a lifetime dedication to our trades.

WE INTRODUCE: NABTU’s MC3 introduces students to the different building trades and teaches them the skills necessary to successfully apply for a registered apprenticeship, debt-free education.

WE CONNECT: NABTU’s MC3 connects two high-quality education systems: America’s secondary schools and the Building Trades registered apprenticeship programs.

WE ENGAGE: NABTU’s MC3 engages students with industry and labor leaders through state-of-the-art curriculum.



Pathway to Building Trades - Forest Avenue Outreach (MC3 Program)

Central Iowa Returning Citizens Achieve (CIRCA) (United Way MC3 Program)

 University of Iowa Labor Center Preapprenticeship (MC3 Program)

NABTU Apprenticeship Readiness Program Q&A

Why Teach MC3 in Schools

FAQ for MC3 in Schools





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