HFIAW LMCT Executive Director discusses the advantages of apprenticeship programs

Pete Ielmini of the Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust, Pete Ielmini joined America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on July 22 to discuss apprenticeships and the trades as a viable career option.

Pete IelminiIelmini described apprenticeships as an alternative to college. He admitted that this adds some negative connotations to apprenticeships, leaving some to assume apprenticeships lead to a lesser wage.

Ielmini then went into the benefits of apprenticeship programs, explaining how apprentices earn a livable wage while they learn on the job. Because these programs come at little to no cost, student debt is not taken on and benefits such as health insurance are guaranteed.

He added that college graduates typically leave with thousands in debt, while those who complete an apprenticeship will finish the program with years of being paid a great wage.

Ielmini discussed the various paths an insulator apprentice can take and how long the apprenticeship for that specific corner of the trade will take to complete, typically four to five years.

Lastly, Ielmini stressed that school guidance counselors and job fairs need to do a better job of eliminating the stigma of working in the trades and promoting apprenticeship programs.

Lamont Byrd of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Safety and Health Department discussed essential workers and proper personal protective equipment.

He talked about wearing masks and face covers while in public and how much they actually protect people.

Byrd explained that any type of face covering helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 and everyone should wear them to protect themselves and those around them. He then educated listeners on the difference between a surgical mask or a cloth mask compared to N95 respirator masks.

Byrd lamented the fact that wearing masks has been politicized. He questioned why a person simply wearing a mask to protect themselves and others is such a difficult concept to grasp.

Finally, he spoke about the future of health and safety training programs for the Teamsters and how they will offer online courses.


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America’s Work Force is the only daily labor-radio program in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America’s workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, BMA MEDIA GROUP, COLUMBUS-CENTRAL OHIO BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL, CUYAHOGA COUNTY VETERAN SERVICE COMMISSION, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, HEAT AND FROST INSULATORS AND ALLIED WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES DISTRICT COUNCIL 6, KELLEY & FERRARO, LLP,  LABOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE, LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, NORTH COAST AREA LABOR FEDERATION, MARITIME TRADES DEPARTMENT, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS-AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, UNITED

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