Grit Nation - The Building Trades Podcast

Penny Painter Supportive Services 2022

December 27, 2021
Grit Nation - The Building Trades Podcast
Penny Painter Supportive Services 2022
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to a special in-house edition of the Grit Nation podcast.

Hi, I’m Joe Cadwell the writer, producer, and host of the show, but more importantly I am an instructor and coordinator at the Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute.

I want to personally commend you for considering a career as a professional craftsperson in the building trades.

Whether you’re in the job corps, a pre-apprenticeship program, or already an apprentice, you’ve probably figured out that construction is a tough business. 

Long hours, physically demanding work, steep learning curves, challenging personalities and oh yeah, the weather.

To be successful as a carpenter, EIS specialist, pile driver, scaffolder or millwright you need to have grit, determination, and drive. 

But sometimes even the grittiest of us need a helping hand every now and then.

That’s why I am happy to talk with Penny Painter on today’s show. 

Penny is a wealth of information when it comes to apprentice supportive services, and she is definitely someone you want to have in your corner as you make your way through the program.

After the episode be sure discuss any questions you have with your instructor or contact Penny direct. 
Additionally, be sure to check out the show notes for a full transcript of our conversation.

Good luck on your journey and your pursuit of a better life through a building trades apprenticeship at PNCI.

The Show Notes

Penny Painter Contact Email
[email protected]

Penny's Phone #
 
503-278-6519

Grit Nation  Webpage
https://www.gritnationpodcast.com

Join the Grit Nation MVP Team
https://mailchi.mp/c28da31260b8/grit-nation-podcast-sign-up-page

Follow Grit Nation on Instagram
 
https://www.instagram.com/gritnationpodcast/

Grit Nation YouTube Channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy-gSacdByjCCec1KeWDJgw

Leave a Review on Podchaser
https://www.podchaser.com/GritNation

Email comments or suggestions to:
[email protected]

Grit NW is a proud member of the Labor Radio / Podcast Network
https://www.laborradionetwork.org/ 

Joe Cadwell:

All right, we are now live. So Penny Painter. Welcome to the show.

Penny Painter:

Thank you.

Joe Cadwell:

Hey, you bet. Penny, thank you so much for taking your time to come back on the show. You're a repeat guest here because you have some really, really valuable information for the apprentices in southwest Washington and Oregon. I know that I've introduced you before someone who works for the AKANA organization, but for those who may not have heard that episode, what is Akana?

Penny Painter:

AKANA is an engineering firm, and it's a Native American owned engineering firm. So we have a lot of services that we do it, obviously engineering, that including the Matt is workforce development department where we provide support services for our apprentices working in the state of Oregon.

Joe Cadwell:

And so does that also extend into Southwest Washington? Or is it solely the state of Oregon,

Penny Painter:

it's for apprentices who are registered as Oregon apprentices. So if they're living in Washington, they can still be served in this program.

Joe Cadwell:

I got you. So the apprentices, most importantly, the ones that I work with at the Pacific Northwest carpenters Institute, here in Oregon, and basically we serve Southwest Washington as well would be eligible for the support programs in which you explained last episode, and I understand since the last time we talk, which has been pre COVID that there's been some changes and right now it seems like we're down to two programs, the bully the Bureau of Labor and Industry as slash Oregon Department of Transportation apprenticeship support program, and then the Multnomah County Workforce apprenticeship support services. What would you like to start with? I know we have some folks who would be really interested in finding out as first year apprentices or people enrolled in an apprenticeship program, what support services they can look forward to accessing. So where would you like to start?

Penny Painter:

I would like to start with the BOLI/ ODOT, heavy highway support service program.

Joe Cadwell:

That sounds great. And again, for the folks listening, predominantly going to be carpenters enrolled in the you know, the Pacific Northwest carpenters Institute program. So they may be a scaffold director, they may be a pile driver, they may be he is exterior interior specialist or a carpenter or even a mill right. But I understand that these programs are not just for our carpenters union that they extend also to other craft. Is that true?

Penny Painter:

That is true. The BOLI/ODOT heavy highway program includes all the heavy highway trades, which includes all of the carpenters trades, obviously, they're the largest ones. And then the laborers come next, and the iron workers and the painters and cement masons and now including the electricians. Oh, wow. Inside electricians actually they have to be inside electricians.

Joe Cadwell:

Gotcha. Not the outside electricians. All right. And so what changes? What changes have been made to the plant? Or where does the plant stand now what is available for these apprentices and who qualifies,

Penny Painter:

wow, there's not a lot of changes in that program other than adding the electricians, but the things that are included in that program, I just like to jump through real quick. And that would be first of all apprentices throughout their apprenticeship program in all yours, and in all terms of their apprenticeship can apply for the travel services, which includes lodging, mileage, and food allowance. And if they're traveling more than 60 miles from their home to do their job, they're very welcome to come and apply for that program to get assistance, it must be within the first couple of weeks that they're on the job. And, and we try to help while they're you know, getting out there because it takes a couple of weeks to start getting paid. And so we want to help them start out right. And then the the childcare services, which are kind of the utmost importance of apprentices in all levels, terms and years that are included in these trades can apply for childcare assistance. I had a seventh term apprentice apply last month. And you know, he's still gonna be in the program for another term or two. And he just found out about it, so he just signed up.

Joe Cadwell:

Isn't that something and those child care benefits, how much what's the monetary amount on that?

Penny Painter:

So if they have a child that's under the age of three, the monetary amount starts out at $18,000. And that is $18,000. Yeah.

Joe Cadwell:

In childcare.

Penny Painter:

Yes.

Joe Cadwell:

in a year or?

Penny Painter:

No, throughout, until they run out of the money because it's paid out to their childcare provider per month on a monthly basis. And it's also paid out on a percentage, because they do have to apply and when they you know, their whole family applies. It's a household income. So it's calculated on their household income, and the apprentice can receive 25% paid 50% paid 75% paid or 100% paid. Usually it starts out at the higher rates. As you can imagine, it'll start out at either 50% or 100%. Most single parents start out at 100%. Most couple parents start out at 50%. And then as their wages go up, the childcare reduces because they do have to have a renewal every six months. So it'll reduce down to 25%. And then it won't go any lower than that until they run out of the funding.

Joe Cadwell:

Understood. So for example, if you say just came out of a pre apprentice program, you're a single mom, first term apprentice in general carpentry, you can hopefully get 100% Child Care paid for with a cap of $18,000 over the course of your apprenticeship.

Penny Painter:

Well, and it's not over the whole course of your apprenticeship. Remember, there's a renewal every six months, I see yes, most single parents start out at 100% paid. And then it drops down to 50%. And then after, usually after a year or so it drops down to 25%. And then it stays at 25% until they run out of the funding. Because their wages benefit. Yeah,

Joe Cadwell:

Gotcha. Yeah, definitely as they progress through the program, and they began to earn more with every rerate. Yeah, I can see that. But this is available not just for first and second term or first year apprentices. This is all the way through, like you said, up to up to journey journeying out of the program, this is available to you. That is

Penny Painter:

true. Yes. Oh, antastic. It doesn't renew every year. So if they're in the program for four years, they're probably going to run out of the funding. But at that point in time, their wages should be higher and high enough to accommodate that cost in their family.

Joe Cadwell:

Bottom line $18,000 could be available in childcare alone through this through this program. That is amazing. Okay, so and then you also talked about travel, and again, not just for first year apprentices, but it sounded like all through the different terms.

Penny Painter:

Well, before we move on to the travel, yes, I'd like to address something else with childcare. If they have a child that's over the age of three, under the age of six, then it starts out at a lesser amount. So the apprentice would have to contact me to see what they qualify for.

Joe Cadwell:

Okay, understood. Thanks for that clarification. And I'll make sure to have all your contact information there, Penny, okay. So we have travel benefits. And we also have, which I'm sure you'd like to talk a little bit more about.

Penny Painter:

We also have tools, boots, rain gear, things that they need in order to get on the job and be, you know, successful at doing their tasks, they can apply for those services. And that's like, up to about $600 that we can spend, like I can go up to a certain amount for boots up to you know what I mean. And so, the most important part of that is tools. And personally from experience right here, especially this time of the year, we try to make sure that when folks are in our program, and we do like them to apply, once they're applying for their apprenticeship program, then they should reach out to me, because if they're applying for their apprenticeship program, or they're already starting in their first year, that's when they qualify for these services. And for buying things, they only qualify up to the first year in both programs, the bolay program and the Multnomah County program. So it's really important for them to reach out in the first year. And besides that, if they've been working a job prior to their apprenticeship that pays less than their apprenticeship program does, then they're going to qualify for more services in our programs, because their pay is less. And I want to be very clear that we do not go according to the Federal poverty rates is according to the federal government, you know, our rates are set by Boly and ODOT. And so we go, it's like, this starts out at 225% FPL. And our FERC is me and then goes up from there, you know, 235%. And so we go according to those rates and the income that the family has at the time, but the sooner the better. And I want to be able to have them prepared and have their application process done. So that when they do get a job or they're dispatched, then they could just call me up and they say, Hey, Penny, I'm supposed to be landing on the job on Monday. And I can help them either, you know, the rest of the week or over the weekend.

Joe Cadwell:

And that's one of the first questions I asked my intro class apprentices is it had anyone talked with or had an experience with Penny in these programs and, and usually out of a class of about, you know, 1416 folks, there's always one or two that just, you know, it's just, it has somehow stumbled across the programs and as men talk with you and, and has received some of these great benefits that you're you're talking about, and it truly is an inspiration to hear, you know how easy it was for them to, to make the connections and be able to reap the rewards. And I think it's inspiring for the other apprentices because as we know, it's very difficult as a, a, an apprentice in the trades to make a go of it. If you're you're suffering, you know, from financial hardships, or you're off, you know, not making the the journey level wages as a first or second term apprentice, it can be difficult to define that childcare, you're relying heavily on parents or family members to take care of the kids. And just going out and buying buying boots and rain gear can definitely, you know, add a couple $100 Bill to to someone who's just trying to get established in the trade. So that's why I think they're so appreciative of these programs that Boley and in the Oregon Department of Transportation are putting together as orchestrated through you and Akana. So we have the childcare benefits, we have the travel benefits, we have the tool and sounds like rain gear boot benefit. Anything else we're missing in regards to the the Bolian ODOT, apprenticeship supportive services package? Well, me new,

Penny Painter:

yes, I tried to be as informational as I possibly can. I actually have worked as a carpenter for over 35 years, and I've done a lot of training as well. But I do also, I'm an advocate for apprentices. So if they're, you know, try to get other services, or they need other services, or they need help finding other services, then I try to help them with that as well. And as well, in the on the heavy highway side, with volio program, we have the hardship services. So if somebody is, you know, in a really big predicament, and they've had a hardship, like they've been affected by COVID, or the fires, that's two big ones that that we've had out there, they can get a referral to get assistance from those programs. Now, they do have to have a referral for those programs, that's really super important. If they've had a death in the family, medical, emergency, domestic violence, you know, these kind of hardships cause people to be kind of thrown off kilter, you know, and, sure, it's not good for them to go to work and thinking about all the things that these things are causing. So we try to help them with those hardships. We can also help them find the childcare, you know, if they're looking for childcare, we can point them in directions that they can, you know, they can look for childcare, I can't choose a childcare for them. But I can recommend, you know, you look up on 211 services, they have a list of registered childcare providers. There's a union, as a matter of fact, for childcare providers, um, you know, a lot of members, yeah, a lot of union members prefer union childcare providers. And so yeah, there is and you can actually just Google that.

Joe Cadwell:

That's great. I'll try to find a link to add that to the show notes later on. Penny, you talked about the Multnomah County Workforce apprentice apprenticeship support services as well. And how does that program differ from the bowling and ODOT program? Well,

Penny Painter:

that program has the the tools and boots and rain gear perspective, and it also has some of the travel services, but included in the travel services would be I can help with like a gas card or something to that effect, for people to get back and forth to work to start with. It doesn't it doesn't. It's not a long term for the travel services, because there's a lot of funding in there. And a childcare support as well is for the is for emergency daycare services. Like if they're trying to get you know, they're in the process of getting set up with their childcare and they haven't quite yet gotten set up with the program, things like that, then I can help them for a short term time under this contract. But it's not as extensive, let's say as the video program that I mirrored as far as the requirements as far as qualifying for the program. I asked for, you know, check stubs, you know, proof of household income, and members in the household and they do have to have a registered provider, and the childcare provider must be DHS approved. Because that tells me that they're working with a provider that's going to work into the other program. That's the requirements of the other program. So I need to make sure that they're working into that arena before I can, you know, put out funding from this program for childcare.

Joe Cadwell:

And is it possible for someone to I hate to use the term double dip but can they get funding for tools for One program and equal amount of funding from the other program or is it one or other mutually exclusive? How does that work

Penny Painter:

one another mutually exclusive no double dipping. As a matter of fact, I have to know that an apprentice is not getting these services from any other organization that includes their apprenticeship program or their employer. Like, for instance, as an example, I know some trades provide tools, some tools for apprentices when they're going out to work, I cannot provide, you know, tools for that apprentice, because they're getting their basic tools. If they needed an additional tool, per se, like let's say, a hammer, a slap hammer, Carpenter, you know, they got their basic tools, they don't get some, but I'm just using that example. And then they needed a slap hammer to do a specific job, then I would be able to go out and buy that. But another thing is per diem, that's a big one, I get people call me, you know, that are going to be getting per diem on their jobs, when they're asking for the travel services. And now I am very clearly understood that you don't get paid for a couple of weeks, most of the time, if you're coming on to a new employer. So you have to wait for a couple of weeks for that to start paying, and you don't have the money to go start. We can help for the first couple of weeks on the job. I can help them get there with you know a little bit of mileage money and help them with a little bit of food money. If they're not receiving state benefits. And you see the way a double dips, you see how that works. If they're getting state benefits, and I can't pay the food money, if they're getting lodging, I can't pay for the room, if they're getting SSI, you know? Yeah. So no double lock sounds were

Joe Cadwell:

gotcha, no double dipping. All right. So it sounds like there's a lot of benefits that are available for apprentices starting in the first year. But some of the some of the benefits going all the way through the apprenticeship, apprentices journey through one of the programs, our particular program at the the carpenters is a four year long program. And if these people were interested in getting in touch with you, what would be the best way for them to to reach out and get in touch with Penny painter and Akana.

Penny Painter:

My phone number, my cell phone number is 503-278-6519. That is the best way. If somebody emails me, you can email me. And that's Penny dot Painter at a akan.us that's [email protected] Okay, but as soon as you email me, I'm going to ask you to give me a call. So we can talk for a few minutes through some preliminary information. Because I do want

Joe Cadwell:

to make sure I put your I'll make sure to put both your phone number and your email address into the show notes. So people have easy access to that

Penny Painter:

each person has to do an enter a short preliminary interview. Because I'm required by the contract that I hold to keep track of each person that enters the purse approaches the program, then I send them out particular paperwork according to their needs. So I don't want people sharing the paperwork and, you know, handing in paperwork they haven't talked to me about yet. And things like that just throws everything off.

Joe Cadwell:

I can see that it makes a lot of sense. Well, Penny, this has been a great conversation, I want to thank you again for being on the show a second time and for updating the information. And is there anything you'd like to leave listeners with before we go?

Penny Painter:

Well, if you're not sure, if you qualify, it only takes a few minutes to figure out if you qualify. And, you know, I can usually tell by the first part of our conversation, and how many people are in your household. You know what you're going to qualify for or if you're not going to qualify at all. But you know, something? I always tried to make sure that everybody comes away with a little something, some some, okay? Because that's my job. And I want to help as many people as I can. And there are ways that I can help people without any check stubs at all. I mean, you know, that's the minimal of course, the bare minimal, but the bare minimum is sometimes just enough to get started. So please call me my number is 503-278-6519. And I look forward to talking with you.

Joe Cadwell:

Now all right, well, thank you so much as always, Penny has been great talking with you. You have a great day.

Penny Painter:

Thank you, Joe.