Mechanical insulators look ahead to clean energy work

As the U.S. begins the gradual shift away from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy sources, building trades unions are working to make sure their members are trained to work on these new technologies to ensure they have future work.

Mechanical insulators stand to gain a great amount of work, as their trade deals directly with energy conservation. Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT) Deputy Director Gina Walsh detailed her career for AWF Union Podcast listeners. She also explained how mechanical insulators can lead the way in energy conservation. Continue reading

Unions look to capture work in the clean energy sector

As the energy sector begins to move away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources, building trades unions and affiliated contractors will have to invest resources into preparing members to perform this new work.

While much of the work is currently performed by non-union tradesmen and tradeswomen, NXTGEN Clean Energy Solutions Founder Russ Bates believes the industry can be captured by union labor. He discussed the industry and where it is heading on the AWF Union Podcast. Continue reading

Illinois EPI finds clean energy investment brings more jobs than non-renewable energy

Renewable energy is beginning to surpass traditional, non-renewable energy in terms of popularity, affordability and more.

Illinois Economic Policy Institute Policy Director Frank Manzo IV discussed what the clean energy industry needs to do to increase their workforce and create family-supporting jobs on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.


Investing in clean energy

Manzo introduced a study conducted that focused on North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, three of the most dominant states in the production of clean energy.

The report found that producing clean energy was actually cheaper than producing non-renewable energy. It also found that jobs such as solar panel installers and wind turbine technicians are among the fastest growing careers in that region.

Manzo said a shift towards cleaner energy sources needs to happen for the sake of our infrastructure. Due to the effects of climate change, power lines are frequently damaged by high winds, prolonged heat damages asphalt and other surfaces and frequent flooding weakens the structural integrity of bridges.

Creating jobs

Manzo said that for every $1 billion invested in clean energy, 7,000 jobs are created, bringing $1.3 billion in economic activity. Both of these numbers are more than what happens with $1 billion invested in non-renewable energy.

He said the issue is the wages and benefits that come with clean energy jobs. Many non-renewable energy jobs are union jobs that provide a family-supporting wage and quality benefits.

For now, much of the clean energy labor comes from out of state, meaning that the money leaves the area and the region misses out on valuable tax revenue.

He also said there needs to be a transition path for non-renewable energy workers to work in the clean energy sector. This comes in the form of stronger prevailing wage laws and the increased use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs).

Giving a boost to prevailing wage laws and use of PLAs will increase the quality of training in the region and drive wages up, making clean energy careers attractive.


America’s Work Force Radio Podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play and wherever you stream your podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Google Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Listen on iHeart Radio


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 STEELWORKERS.

Ohio Representative Tom Patton on America’s Workforce Radio

Tom Patton and BF Nagy were featured as guests on America’s Work Force Radio.

State Representative Tom Patton

On Oct. 15, Tom Patton, state representative for Ohio was featured on the show to discuss Issue 1 in Ohio and clarify the good and the bad about it. He also talks about bringing in more younger people into the trades. When speaking about Issue 1, Patton stressed how important it is to help people get drug treatment rather than incarcerating them, especially if they are non-violent, young, and clearly are in need of help. It is much cheaper to the tax payers to have someone receive drug treatment rather than incarcerating them and not even helping fix their addiction. The second topic that Patton discusses is bringing more attention to the trades and apprenticeships. He talks about the benefits and opportunities that come with apprenticeships and how they should be advertised more so students who are uninterested in college or have trades-related skills know there are options for them out there.

BF Nagy

Bruce Nagy is an author on many pieces that talk about clean energy and green technology. One thing that Nagy was talking about was how trades are beginning to go green by using cleaner energy sources. Nagy also talks about the higher acceptance of electric powered vehicles and how there is a higher demand for them. The last thing that he discussed during his time on the show is Brad Pitt financing the design and rebuilding of storm-resistant and affordable homes in New Orleans after Katrina hit.

Show host Ed “Flash” Ferenc also discussed the upcoming clean energy age, the Climate Reality Project, unions needing more people to get involved, and how the economy has fluctuated during President Trump’s first 18 months in office.


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 LIUNA,COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA, UNITED STEEL WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS, AFL-CIO, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, CLEVELAND FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.