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LIUNA Training and Apprenticeship Leads Mother to Family-Supporting Construction Career – and a Seat With the First Lady During the State of the Union Speech

Washington, D.C. (January 20, 2015) –LeDaya Epps built a family-supporting construction career through LIUNA’s training and apprenticeship program – and tonight she will find herself with First Lady Michelle Obama during the President’s State of the Union remarks.

Epps, 38, is a proud nine-year member of LIUNA Local 300 in Los Angeles. The Compton, Ca., native is currently working on a project to expand the light rail train line for LA Metro to Los Angeles International Airport. Epps credits LIUNA’s training and apprenticeship programs with providing the skills needed to take advantage of job opportunities in the construction industry and to improve her standard of living.

“The skills training I received through my union has done more than teach me a trade. It’s renewed my life,” Epps said. “It has been a lifeline to a career I am proud of and allowed me to provide for myself and my three children.”

Epps was invited to be a guest of the First Lady by Labor Department Secretary Tom Perez as a way for the Administration to highlight the positive impact of the training programs of LIUNA and other Building Trades unions. In addition to joining the First Lady, Epps met with the Labor Secretary while in Washington, D.C.

“We are deeply proud of LeDaya and that a member of the Laborers’ International Union of North America has been chosen for this honor,” LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan said. “It is a testament to the dedication and perseverance of LeDaya, to the positive difference LIUNA Local 300 makes in the lives of our members and their families, and to the significance and power of our training and apprenticeship programs.”

LIUNA operates more than 70 fixed and mobile training centers which provide classroom and hands-on skills training for 140,000 workers a year in both construction and environmental remediation. The construction skills taught prepare workers to build the critical infrastructure of the U.S., including roads, bridges, transit systems, pipelines, power plants, buildings and other projects.