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Building & Construction Trades Department

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Monday, March 27, 2017

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Building Trades Unions Showcase Training Infrastructure During "National Apprenticeship Week"

November 14-20 is the second annual "National Apprenrticeship Week."  And Building Trades councils and local unions are showcasing our training centers, educational curriculums, and community partnerships all across the nation.

  • Darrell Roberts, the Executive Director of the "Helmets to Hardhats" penned an Op-Ed with The Hill Newspaper in Washington, DC where he trumpeted the fact that the program "was created to connect National Guard, Reserve, and transitioning active-duty military members with the best apprenticeship training programs in the world."

  • Meanwhile, Scott Whittemore, a Helmets to Hardhats program graduate who is now an Area Manager for CB&I Construction Services, took to the pages of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press to express his gratitude for how the Helmets to Hardhats program enabled him to enter a Boilermakers apprenticeship program when he was transitioning out of the military.

  • Over in Illinois, Brad Long, the President of the Northwest Illinois Building Trades Council, was given space in the Journal Standard newspaper in order to provide an historical overview of the improtant contributions made by building trades skilled craft apprenticeship programs in the United States.  Brad also made the salient point that "the economic return on investment from registered apprenticeship programs is $9.14 per dollar spent on worker training. The return on investment is even greater if government revenue and savings are included — $10.98 per dollar invested."

  • Over in Youngstown, Ohio, the local paper ran a feature story on Joe Neal of Laborers Local 125.  According to Joe, “It felt terrific,” Neal said of completing the program. “It’s not just a job; it’s a career. There’s nothing I haven’t found that I don’t like so far.”

  • And there was big news out of Chicago during National Apprenticeshp Week, as the city and the building trades announced the launch of a Comprehensive Construction Trades Program at the city's Dunbar Career Academy.  In past years, it has been perceived that black and Hispanic young people were having difficulties getting into the trades, but Donald Finn, a business manager with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, says organized labor is fully aboard now.  “We in the building trades hope that enough children are interested in this program so we can expand this, not just keep it at Dunbar but move it throughout the city and we have all the trades in the future in this program,” Finn said.

  • And in Indiana, Ivy Tech Community College, a longtime partner of the Building Trades, took to the pages of the Kokomo Herald in order to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week by touting its employers who work with Ivy Tech on apprenticeship programs - including A. Raymond Tinnerman, Braun Corporation, Essroc Corporation, Carter Fuel Systems, FCA North America, Haynes International, Matthew Warren, Milbank Manufacturing, Owens Corning, Paper Works Industries, Plymouth Tube, Small Parts Inc., Steel Parts, Tyson Foods.  Ivy Tech offers apprenticeships in skilled trades ranging from bricklayers to electricians, carpenters to plumbers and pipefitters, painters to sheet metal workers and more.

  • Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf got into the spirit by announcing on Monday Novebmer 14 a $5 million grant that will be given to the Steamfitters’ new training facility in Butler County, money that will help train local residents for work in projects like Shell Chemicals’ ethane cracker plant.The governor said in a news release the new training facility located outside Cranberry Township will be crucial in getting more people trained and on the job in the next several years.To that end, Wolf said the Steamfitters currently graduate around 170 apprentices annually. With the new training center and increased resources, that number is expected to increase to about 270 annually.“For years, the Steamfitters and the building trades have been providing an incredible service to our young people,” Wolf said. “They have trained them in stable, secure job fields and prepared them to enter the workforce and contribute to Pennsylvania’s economy by building our infrastructure.”

  • Mark Johnson, the head of the Tri-Cities Building Trades Council that straddles the borders of West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky, authored an Op-Ed in the Huntington (WVa) Herald Dispatch newspaper about the benefits of union apprentriceshp programs and extended an invite for folks to come to a Friday November 18 "Open House"  at the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 248 JATC in Ashland, Kentucky.

  • Maryland Governor Larry Hogan issued a proclamation in support of National Apprenticeship Week, and on Friday November 18 members of his cabinet will join NABTU President Sean McGarvey and Helmets to Hardhats Executive Director Darrell Roberts for a Veterans Apprenticeshp Recruitment event in Annapolis, MD.

  • And speaking of President McGarvey, he was at the German Embassy in Washington, DC on Thrusday, November 17 to participate, along with US Labor Secretary Tom Perez, in a panel discussion on the future of apprenticeship training and education in the United States.

  • In Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh, who also happens to be the former head of the Boston Building Trades Council, joined with the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues, in partnership with community groups and other industry stakeholders, to celebrate the building trades unions’ investment in expanding opportunities for women and people of color into registered apprenticeship programs to access high-wage, high-skill career opportunities in Massachusetts.  The event marks the Building and Construction Trades Unions’ support of a diverse workforce. Mayor Walsh launched Building Pathways in 2011, in coordination with the Boston Office of Workforce Development. Building Pathways is a pre-apprenticeship program that provides women and people of color a direct path into a career in the building trades. In 2015, Boston received a $3 million grant to expand the program, and create more apprenticeship opportunities in construction and hospitality. The City’s award, part of the $175 million American Apprenticeship Grant program, will serve 394 participants seeking to advance careers in the construction and hospitality sectors.  “Diversity is vital to creating a strong, thriving workforce,” saidMayor Walsh. “I’m proud the Building and Construction Trades Unions are working to expand opportunities for women and people of color.”

  • Many other events were being organized this week by local building trades councils all across the nation, including in Idaho, Oklahoma, Bakersfield, CA, San Francisco, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Appleton, WI, Milwaukee, WI, Bismarck, ND, Des Moines, IA, Toledo, OH, and Orlando, FL.

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