Industries Take Notice of the Value of Apprenticeships

The Apprenticeship Forward conference was recently held in Washington, DC and attendees heard success stories from a wide range of businesses, not only construction, about how apprenticeships can “change lives and help businesses grow.”

The US Department of Labor recently posted an article covering the event, highlighting areas about apprenticeship programs that employers should take note of:

  • Apprenticeship is a winning workforce development business strategy for companies and provides a strong return on investment: A recent Department of Commerce study indicates that the return on investment for business is approximately $1.50 for every $1 invested with a range of benefits from reduced turnover to greater productivity from apprentices.
  • Apprenticeship creates a pathway to skilled, middle-class jobs for American workers: Nearly 9 out of 10 apprentices are employed after completing their apprenticeships, with an average starting wage of more than $60,000 per year. Over the course of their careers, apprentices earn over $300,000 more in wages and benefits than their peers who do not participate in Registered Apprenticeship programs.
  • Apprenticeships allow more Americans to participate in a growing economy: Apprenticeship can revitalize whole communities by bringing well paying jobs to a diverse untapped talent pool, and has a proven success rate at decreasing youth unemployment in countries with strong apprenticeship systems like Germany and Switzerland.
  • Apprenticeship is a great investment for the public sector:  A 2012 Mathematica evaluation of 10 states found that every dollar invested in apprenticeship led to $27 in tax returns and more than $35 in total benefits. The public also benefits by leveraging private sector investments in training, estimated at over $1 billion per year.

Of course, this is nothing new for employers and leaders in the Building Trades unions, but such information does serve to help expand the market share of IUPAT employers as the business advantages of apprenticeships gains traction.

Read the DOL article HERE.




Women Making an Impact in Construction

March featured Women in Construction Week which honors the growing, but far from comparable, diversified workforce on construction sites throughout North America. took the opportunity to interview “six women leaders representing multiple facets of the business, from building material sales to homebuilding to architecture to large commercial contracting.”

Read their important takes on diversity, community and how to successfully change the workforce for the better HERE.

FCA International: Our Story

The Finishing Contractors International is an IUPAT and LMCI partner that represents over 7,000 union contractors throughout North America.  They educate and advocate on behalf of the union construction industry to provide opportunities for the IUPAT workforce and the profitability of the companies that employ union workers.

This is their story:


President Trump Boasts Infrastructure Investment in SOTU

The $1 trillion plan was mentioned again…but where are the details?

In his first State of the Union Address, President Trump made it clear that he is sending a $1 trillion infrastructure plan to Congress.  What wasn’t so clear is how it would work, and when it would happen.

Another Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, initiated the last truly great national infrastructure program –- the building of the interstate highway system. The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding.

America has spent approximately six trillion dollars in the Middle East, all this while our infrastructure at home is crumbling. With this six trillion dollars we could have rebuilt our country –- twice. And maybe even three times if we had people who had the ability to negotiate.

To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking the Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States — financed through both public and private capital –- creating millions of new jobs.

This effort will be guided by two core principles: Buy American, and Hire American.

As you can see from Mr. Trump’s words above from the speech last night, the best detail he offers for the plan is to “buy American and hire American,” and “financed through both public and private capital.” reports more on the speech and what such an investment means for our industries. Read it HERE.



Trump Infrastructure Investment Delayed to 2018?

Reports are out that the promised Trump Administration infrastructure plan may be delayed until 2018 due to a Capitol Hill calendar that is “way overstuffed.”

Axios, a daily web news service, reported on the possible delay and followed up with reporting that “construction-related stocks that received an initial post-election boost on the hopes of increased infrastructure spending have taken a hit. Share prices for U.S. Steel (-7.85%), Martin Marietta (-4.7%), Vulcan Materials (-3.15%) and Caterpillar (-2.7%) all fell on the news, according to Investor’s Business Daily.”

Read the ConstructionDive story HERE and the Axios reporting HERE.

The Pulse of the Industry

The purpose of this new program is to gather as much information about specific challenges in our industries as possible from local IUPAT leaders and signatory contractors who are working in the field every day. Based on that information, the IUPAT and its industry partners will set forth on market expansion plans that cater specifically to each craft with solutions to those challenges. How Training Programs Can ‘Fund the Future’ of a Skilled Workforce has a new series of feature articles covering an “in-depth look at the complex legal landscape of the construction industry.”

The “Dotted Line” series article this month discusses the challenges of how meeting local hiring requirements under PLAs in some markets falls far short (Detroit Red Wings arena), while initiatives in other markets are quite successful (Minnesota Vikings staudium).

The North America’s Building Trades Unions is among the organizations featured with thoughts on how unions provide training to grow the workforce with over 1,600 training centers in North America.

The article also gives perspective on how non-union companies are taking their own initiative.

Read the full article HERE.


IUPAT FTI Comments on Revised NACE/SSPC Standard

The 2016 revised NACE No. 13/Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) Applicator Certification (ACS) 1 language has been released.  Known in the industry as the Coating and Lining Application Specialist Training and Certification Standard, this minimum standard of training is crucial to protecting our infrastructure.

As reports, “the standard includes up-to-date information for qualifying the coatings and linings installer, also known as an application specialist, through a broad range of classroom instruction and associated work experiences, and it is a tool that every stakeholder who writes project specifications, hires, and/or trains coating and lining application specialists should have on hand.”

The article went on to report that “Anton Ruesing, executive director of [IUPAT] Finishing Trades Institute, NACE member and a member of TG 320, agreed that developing training and certification programs for application specialists is an important step for the trade. “I think this certification will help others (owners, contractors, government agencies, etc.) see the critical nature of proper surface preparation and coating application. What coating and lining applicators do protects the infrastructure in our country from literally crumbling around us.”

Read the entire article in Coatings Pro HERE.




Congress Looks to Sink Contractor “Blacklist Rule”

A rule, signed into law by President Barack Obama last year, that requires contractors who bid on federal projects to disclose past civil, administrative and workplace protection violations is now facing legislative roll back.  Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chair of the US House Education and Workforce Committee, introduced HJ Res. 37 which, if passed will kill what has been dubbed the “blacklisting” rule by critics.

The Obama administration sought to bring new awareness to labor violations by penalizing companies guilty of such violations by making them ineligible for federal contracts of over $500,000.  “Cheaters shouldn’t win,” said Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez about the rule when it was announced.  “Today’s action ensures they won’t.”

The legislation will go to the Senate for a vote.

Read more about this HERE.