Apprenticeship fair happening in Cleveland, Ohio

The construction trades are dealing with the reality of needing to encourage young people to seek a career in the field. As schools and parents pushed students toward college, the construction industry became neglected, surviving off the labor of older generations.

Plumbers Local 55 (Cleveland) President Doreen Cannon joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss a building trades focused job fair occurring on Oct. 13.

She also discussed the effort to recruit more women and minorities into the building trades workforce. Continue reading

Union recruitment struggles in So-Called “Right to Work” state of Iowa

Russ Jaeger, Business Manager for the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) Workers Local 263, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss his union’s struggles in the So-Called “Right to Work” state of Iowa, where there is a Republican controlled legislature and governor.

He also spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic is causing people to rethink ventilation systems and countertop materials.

Lastly, he discussed the SMART registered apprenticeship program and efforts to educate guidance counselors and parents about the benefits of a registered apprenticeship program as a pathway to a solid middle class job. Continue reading

Apprenticeship programs expand to meet job market demand

Barry Davies, Business Manager and Financial Secretary/Treasurer of Ironworkers Local 512, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how the Ironworkers apprenticeship program has grown and evolved.

He also discussed the likelihood of the $1.3 trillion infrastructure bill eventually passing and if it passes, whether the Ironworkers will be able to meet the increased demand for skilled workers. Continue reading

Delaware construction unions push to grow

Jim Ascione, Treasurer of the Delaware Building and Construction Trades Council, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the Delaware union construction industry, Prevailing Wage and how the federal infrastructure bill would fuel apprenticeship programs by supporting much needed union construction jobs. Continue reading

Sprinkler fitter apprenticeships pave the way to good paying careers that save lives

In the last year, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) affiliates combined to invest roughly $2 billion in training and education. The United Association (UA) invests about $300 million every year to train their apprentices and journeymen.

Tim Coleman, UA Local 669 JATC Recruitment and Outreach Specialist, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss outreach efforts of the JATC, particularly when it comes to sprinkler fitter apprenticeship programs. Continue reading

Apprenticeship programs actively recruiting to meet construction demand

David Rutledge, Assistant Business Manager for the Southeast Laborers District Council, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how the construction market is heating up and what apprenticeship programs are doing to attract talent to meet the increased demand.

He also talked about the negotiation process for workers at Vanderbilt University and how the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA) is fighting for an increased living wage for its members. Continue reading

Could the apprenticeship model be applied beyond construction trades?

Andrew Cortes, Founder and Executive Director of Rhode Island Building Futures, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how the union apprenticeship model could be applied to fields beyond construction.

The Building Futures program strives to meet employer and industry needs for skilled workers through the Registered Apprenticeship system while creating family-sustaining career opportunities for low-income diverse residents.

The Building Futures program started by teaching pre-apprenticeship skills. Participants are then placed into registered apprenticeship programs. Continue reading

Union journeymen earn similar wages and benefits as college grads

A recent study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute based on data from the U.S. Department of Labor found that those who complete union apprenticeship programs in the construction industry achieve nearly equal wages and benefits, on average, as other workers with four-year college degrees.

Tommy Maloney, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 96 Business Manager, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how a union apprenticeship can be a ticket to the middle class.

He also discussed two solar farms being built in Massachusetts and what the federal infrastructure bill means for jobs in the electrical industry. Continue reading

Birmingham City Council to consider Responsible Bidding Ordinance

Bill Blackman, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 136 Business Manager, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss a responsible bidding ordinance being considered by the Birmingham, Ala. City Council. The ordinance would require any jobs for the city, or for projects that receive city dollars or tax abatements, to include individuals learning a trade through a Department of Labor accredited apprenticeship.

He also discussed scholarships that offer college credits alongside apprenticeships that are successful in growing apprenticeship programs. Continue reading

COVID-19 has challenged union workers to adapt under pressure

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented challenges on workers, particularly for essential workers on construction sites, hospitals and other potentially dangerous settings.

Sean McGarvey, President of North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss how the pandemic has transformed labor in America.

McGarvey also discussed the need to grow union apprenticeships and why he is seeing more people with college degrees seek professions in the building trades. Continue reading