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Apprenticeship Connects Real Skills to Real Jobs

Washington, D.C. (June 15, 2017) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today regarding President Trump and Secretary Acosta’s focus on apprenticeship training programs:

We applaud the Trump Administration’s focus on apprenticeship and skills training as a proven pathway to life-long, family-sustaining careers for millions of workers who might otherwise struggle in today’s economy.

 

With classroom and on-the-job training, workers can earn while they learn and enter the workforce without the debt that burdens too many college graduates.  Apprenticeship training can open the door to career opportunities for workers by teaching job-ready skills based on employer needs – in short, apprenticeships are about real skills that connect workers to real jobs.

 

LIUNA and the other building trades unions have long understood the important connection of training and jobs. It is why LIUNA, working together with our signatory employers, created a world-class, accredited training network across North America. LIUNA has over 60 different construction and environmental skills training curriculums. We invest over $145 million a year in apprenticeship training and journeymen upgrade training to 200,000 construction laborers each year, at absolutely no cost to the government or taxpayers.

 

We pride ourselves in recruiting new workers by forming and cultivating national and local partnerships. We work with community groups, faith-based organizations, high schools, junior colleges, and others to train the workforce of today and tomorrow. The proven, long-term success of the union Building Trades system, if viewed as a university, would be the largest privately funded training system in the U.S. 

 

While details are being finalized, the Administration’s proposal can help workers by providing access to quality apprenticeship programs that lead to good middle-class jobs. There is still much to be done, but we look forward to working with President Trump, Labor Secretary Acosta and Congress to strengthen apprenticeship and highlight the union construction trades program as a model for excellence.

 


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The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.