United Association (UA) Local 286 Business Manager Robert “Chap” Thorton joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the jobs the infrastructure bill will create and how his Local is actively recruiting apprentices to meet the demand.
Located in Austin, Local 286 has experienced robust growth over the last three years. Its membership now tops 1,700 members. Even before the infrastructure bill passed, Austin’s construction market had exploded, Thornton said. The Local took in 150 apprentices last year and has a total of 460 apprentices in their registered apprenticeship program. Between the Tesla plant, which is currently under construction, and the upcoming Samsung chip factory, Austin’s future looks incredibly bright, he added.
He explained how the infrastructure bill will fund the replacement of lead pipes in Texas – work that will be performed by the UA.
Thornton also spoke about the unprecedented winter storms that hit Texas last year and knocked out power across the state. Texas remains on its own energy grid and could find itself in a similar predicament if another winter storm hits the state, he said.
Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics:
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