The JATC program originated in 1919, in conjunction with the Chicago Public School system and functioned for many years at the Washburne Trade School. In it’s day, the new Washburne Trade School became an outstanding model for Apprenticeship programs across the land, and unique for providing side-by-side training for students engaged in several building trades. During the 1920’s, the program grew to include 11 trades, all taught by competent tradesmen teachers.
The Great Depression years of the 1930’s set back the program, but it resumed momentum with an enactment of the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937…which gave birth to the modern Apprenticeship System by creating Standards of Skills and putting the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship into a supervisory role to guarantee to uphold those essential Standards.
Enrollment surged in the 1940’s. Returning World War II veterans entered the program and market demands created new housing. These converging forces produced an enhanced Washburne Trade School program, encompassing all major building trades plus other Apprenticeship occupational programs.
The JATC program continued evolving over the years, and in 1962, a Trust Agreement defined the modern collaboration between Painters’ District Council No. 14 and the Contractor’s Association now known as Chicago PDCA/FCA.
The Chicago Area Drywall Finishers Training Program was founded in 1975 to complement the Painting and Decorating Training Program and professionalize the taping trade. Its founding principle was to enhance the Apprentice trainee educational experience with both practical, hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge.
In June of 1995, both the JATC program and the newer DFTC programs moved into a new state-of-the-art training facility in Berkeley, Illinois, where they remain today. As such, the Chicago Area Painting & Decorating JATC and the Chicago Area Drywall Finishers school has matured into perhaps the finest training program in the country for its clientele of aspiring painting, decorating, and drywall finishing Apprentices . . . and veteran painters and tapers wishing to enhance their skills.