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

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

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

Union fills jobs during New England construction boom

Iron Workers Local 7 represents over 3,800 workers in the steel industry, covering Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. The Union has grown steadily over the years and currently seeks to recruit more apprentices to help fill jobs during the ongoing construction boom.

Grant Provost, a Business Agent of Iron Workers Local 7, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss efforts to grow the Union, the demand for ironworkers in New England and how the Union is preparing to fill that need. Continue reading

Unions fight for worker health and safety in the midst of a pandemic

Unions strive to ensure members stay safe from disease and receive compensation when they cannot work if they become sick or need to quarantine. This can be an uphill battle in so-called “Right to Work” states.

Glenn Kelly, President of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) Local 8 Southeast, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the challenges of navigating health and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic and the struggle to keep workers paid when they are sick and cannot work. Continue reading