As President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union, our economy is improving and America is benefiting from 58 straight months of job growth. But young people who are stuck on their parents’ couches are still struggling. The youth unemployment rate is too high. Wages are stagnant. College is increasingly expensive, and the mountain of student debt keeps getting larger.
January is National Mentoring Month, and our friends at the Berger-Marks Foundation are highlighting the mentoring program that New York City Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3 shop steward Erin Sullivan helped establish in the 11,000 member local in 2011.
After serving their country, many veterans have trouble transitioning into civilian jobs, particularly younger and female service members. The unemployment rate among all veterans ages 18–24 is 21.3% (compared to 13.1% of civilians. And while male veterans have an unemployment rate (4.2%) lower than the national rate, female veterans are much worse off with a 7.9% unemployment rate. Helmets to Hardhats, the International Training Institute and the construction trades are trying to do something about that problem.
In a rare display of bipartisan cooperation, the U.S. Congress has approved new federal workforce development legislation, including provisions that stand to increase the voice of workers in the system. The House passed (415–6) the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) July 9.
On Monday, April 14, members and leaders of the Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), representatives of the Finishing Contractors Association International (FCA), local political leaders and U.S. Army leaders gathered for the graduation of five military members from the new Painters and Allied Trades Veterans Program (PAT-VP).
The Boilermakers (IBB) union places its apprentice training program at center stage every year by hosting a national apprenticeship competition. The competition is a pressure cooker: Over the course of four 10-hour days, apprentices are tested on the entire four-year Boilermakers apprenticeship curriculum and acquired hands-on skills.
Apprenticeships are not a familiar concept to many Americans, but expanding the use of this highly effective training model can help our nation meet the demand for skilled workers, create pathways to well-paying careers for unemployed young workers, and give American businesses a competitive edge in the global marketplace.
More than three dozen Sheet Metal Training Centers were opened to the public Monday to showcase the cutting-edge training, skills and knowledge that have kept the unionized sheet metal industry at the forefront of the building and construction trades for more than a century.
The open houses—part of the 125th anniversary of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART)—are part of the union’s outreach to both young workers looking for skilled careers and for employers searching for a skilled workforce.
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.