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Third Annual Event to Build Awareness of The Importance of Union-Run Apprentice Training Programs - (7/17/2013)

Hundreds of PA Building and Construction Trades union apprentices, coordinators and instructors representing twenty different building trades crafts from every area of Pennsylvania filled the State Capitol Rotunda in an impressive display of the strength and the value of union-run apprenticeship programs to Pennsylvania’s building and construction industry.

During a press conference held by the President of the PA Building and Construction Trades Council, Frank Sirianni noted that over 130,000 union building and construction trades members comprise over 33 percent of the industry workforce and that over 8,100 active union building trades apprentices are being educated for tomorrow’s work force in Pennsylvania. That is over 80 percent of all apprentices in the construction industry in Pennsylvania.

This was the third Annual PA Apprenticeship Coordinators Association Lobby Day showcasing the value and importance of these training programs in providing a skilled and well-trained workforce for Pennsylvania building and construction industry, but also giving these future workers the opportunity to discuss important legislation with lawmakers – including protecting Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage and defeating attacks on collective bargaining.  These future workers are very concerned about a rising threat to labor unions and issues of prevailing wages in other states as well as here in this state. It’s just one of the reasons that participation is way up.

Several legislators participated in the press conference encouraging apprentices to keep educating their State Representatives and State Senators so that they understand their value in providing a skilled and trained workforce for Pennsylvania.

“An event like the one yesterday at the Capitol serves as a powerful reminder that Pennsylvania has an incredibly skilled workforce that can rebuild this Commonwealth, jump start our economy, and help put our citizens on the path to prosperity;” said Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale.  “So many doors of opportunity are opened up thanks to the apprenticeship programs offered through the PA Building and Construction Trades Council.”

It is shameful that at a time when so much work needs to be done, that so many in the legislature are attacking workers, rather than working to create jobs.

“We hope that Tuesday’s lobby day was an educational experience for many in the legislature;” added Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder.  “Those who are attempting to undermine prevailing wage laws or collective bargaining rights need to understand the years of training that go into being a skilled worker.  If employers are able to engage in a race to the bottom when it comes to wages, benefits, and workers’ rights – then all Pennsylvanians lose.”

For more information about Apprentice Day and Union Building Trades Apprenticeship opportunities in the construction industry check the web site at www.apprentice.org

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