ABC NorCal Graduates Celebrate

Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft (second from left) takes a moment with recent ABC NorCal graduates. Ezzy Ashcraft joined Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and Emeryville Mayor Dianne Martinez in congratulating the graduates.
ABC NorCal

ABC NorCal Graduates Celebrate

Sun Staff Reports

The Salvation Army in partnering with Associated Builders and Contractors Northern California (ABC NorCal) to sharpen the skills of individuals who are switching career paths or experiencing positive changes in their lifestyles.
For example, after being out of school for a number of years, Damian Torchy applied for the Construction Leadership Training Program. He wanted to improve his construction skills and boost his career in a place that provided structure. Torchy completed two job interviews and he applied for an apprenticeship.

“The weeks I spent with this training not only built my construction skills and professionalism, it also brought me closer to people like me that are determined to make a difference that lasts a lifetime,” he said.

The training lasts two weeks and offers tangible job opportunities upon completion. The Salvation Army helps hone job-readiness skills that include writing resumes and cover letters, preparing for interview preparation and dressing for success. Each student is given the choice to become an expert of a vocation within the construction industry to help achieve their career dreams by receiving priority entry into ABC NorCal’s partner contractors allowing the graduates to begin working right out of the program.

“ABC NorCal is committed to opening new avenues of employment in the construction trades for individuals from all walks of life,” said Charles Vernocy, Chief Operating & Finance Officer at ABC NorCal. “The Salvation Army has been an outstanding community partner that shares a belief in helping others reform for the better.”

With classes in electrical work,students receive electrician trainee cards, OSHA 10 certification, a construction training card, boots, tools and a tool belt to be ready to walk on to a construction site.

Anyone looking to gain new lasting skills in construction is welcome to apply for pre-apprentice and apprentice programs at ABC NorCal represents nearly 500 companies, both large and small, across Northern California. To learn more visit