For the past year and a half, I’ve had the great fortune of working on the new addition to the Tom Bradley International Terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). In the first two years of my electrical apprenticeship with IBEW Local 11, I worked on small jobs for small shops that had a very limited scope of work, so there weren’t very many aspects of the trade I had exposure to, much to my disappointment.
The Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) program in New York City prepares women for careers in construction and related industries through an innovative training and placement program that guides low-income women toward a meaningful career and solid financial footing.
Apprentices develop, and experienced workers refresh, skills at the International Union of Operating Engineers' state-of-the-art training center in Wilmington, Ill. The Local 150 center houses classrooms, testing labs, welding facilities, an equipment simulator lab and an indoor training arena large enough for 18 pieces of equipment to be used simultaneously.
In this video, meet the apprentices who now hold a promising future and the employers eager to receive a trained workforce.
Today’s military veterans face one of the toughest job markets in decades, and their unemployment rate is significantly higher than the population at large. But thanks to the Helmets to Hardhats program, which connects veterans with quality career training and employment opportunities within the building and construction industry, many veterans are now on ascending career paths.
A recent Philadelphia Inquirer feature focuses on two U.S. Marine Corps veterans who are putting to work the training and opportunities provided by Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 19 in South Philadelphia.
Earlier this year, it looked as if the Virginia Legislature was headed down the same anti-worker road several Republican-controlled legislatures have recently traveled when legislation was introduced in the state House and Senate that would reduce labor representation on the 29-member Virginia Workforce Council to just one person.
Over the next few months, we'll be following the story of Hannah Cooper, an apprentice with Electrical Workers (IBEW). Check out her first entry below:
My entire life my mother has been a union electrician—a fact of life I never thought to question. It was where she spent her days while I was growing up, and it gave her the means to support our family. Although I understood and in my own way appreciated this fact, it never once occurred to me when considering potential career paths. I had this idea that I was going to make a career for myself in the arts and spend my time traveling the world as a dancer—maybe do some part-time modeling for supplemental income—acquire a bachelor's degree at a four-year university back East and maybe try to join a dance company. This was the plan anyways, from my early years of childhood up through the first half of my senior year of high school, when I realized I didn’t want to be a dancer anymore. I stopped showing up to my college auditions, completely throwing a wrench in the plan.
The recently opened Chobani yogurt plant—the world’s largest—in Twin Falls, Idaho, and several major construction projects—including a new steel mill—in the Youngstown, Ohio, area have been a boon for the skilled Electrical Workers (IBEW) members there who have been a blessing for the construction managers tasked with getting the jobs done quickly and efficiently.
On the evening of May 1, 2010, firefighters from Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854 in New York City got a call about a car fire in Times Square. Six minutes later, Lts. Mike Barvels and John Kazan arrived on the scene to find an SUV parked with one wheel on a curb, hazard lights blinking. The firefighters spotted a number of warning signs, most importantly the white, slow-moving smoke coming from the vehicle. They knew typical car fires involve dark, billowing smoke. Barvels and Kazan decided not to use their fire hose on the truck and instead called for experts to come investigate.
Berry Craig, recording secretary for the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council and a professor of history at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, is a former daily newspaper and Associated Press columnist and currently a member of AFT Local 1360. Craig sends us this.
Pittsburgh Steelers partisan and union radio guy Charles Showalter is happy the union refs are back on the field.
But Showalter thinks unions should use the lockout as a teaching moment. So does Bill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO. Says Showalter, host of “The Union Edge: Labor’s Talk Radio” show: