Many Americans are unaware of the benefits available to the men and women who enter a registered building trades apprenticeship program. Instead, these Americans believe in pushing the next generation of students towards college, where they pay thousands and then have to go find a job for themselves.
United Association Local 669 is a unique Local Union, as it represents fire sprinkler professionals in 48 states. UA Local 669 Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee Recruitment and Outreach Specialist Tim Coleman joined AWF Union Podcast to discuss apprenticeship and how it can benefit Americans.
The UA Local 669 apprenticeship program
Coleman said Local 669 has continued to train apprentices and journeymen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While many industries paused operations, construction carried on. Local 669 was able to adapt quickly, overcome the challenges of online learning and take advantage of on-the-job training.
During the pandemic, the UA remained committed to training. At no cost to taxpayers, the UA invested approximately $300 million into their training and educational programs.
The investment was worthwhile, as the work outlook remains good. Coleman said the initial installation of fire suppression systems is important, but there is plenty of other work in the industry. Many older buildings will need to be retrofitted to meet code and other facilities need maintenance performed.
Providing for your family through the trades
As a recruitment and outreach specialist, Coleman works to find people seeking careers. He is developing and executing plans to get in front of those who influence career seekers, such as teachers, counselors and parents. It is important these influencers understand why the trades offer a quality career.
There are too many people in the U.S. who live at or below the poverty line. Coleman said this is unacceptable, as there are careers that provide a quality living. There is no reason someone should have to work two to three jobs in order to make ends meet.
One way to fix this issue is to inquire about a career in the trades. With on-the-job training, a livable wage and quality benefits, UA Local 669 membership can provide the boost Americans need to live a quality life.