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星期二, 11月 15, 2016

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Building & Construction Trades Unions Celebrate Diversity on National Women in Apprenticeship Day

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Building & Construction Trades Unions Celebrate Diversity on National Women in Apprenticeship Day
BOSTON – Tonight, as part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Apprenticeship Week and National Women in Apprenticeship Day, the Building and Construction Trades Unions and the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues, in partnership with community groups and other industry stakeholders, will celebrate the building trades unions’ investment in expanding opportunities for women and people of color into registered apprenticeship programs to access high-wage, high-skill career opportunities here in Massachusetts.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh will also join the celebration, marking the Building and Construction Trades Unions’ support of a diverse workforce. Mayor Walsh launched Building Pathways in 2011, in coordination with the Boston Office of Workforce Development. Building Pathways is a pre-apprenticeship program that provides women and people of color a direct path into a career in the building trades. In 2015, Boston received a $3 million grant to expand the program, and create more apprenticeship opportunities in construction and hospitality. The City’s award, part of the $175 million American Apprenticeship Grant program, will serve 394 participants seeking to advance careers in the construction and hospitality sectors.
“Diversity is vital to creating a strong, thriving workforce,” said Mayor Walsh. “I’m proud the Building and Construction Trades Unions are working to expand opportunities for women and people of color.”
Building trades unions, contractors, and community groups will gather at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 Training Center in Dorchester to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, proclaim Women in Apprenticeship Day and recognize game changers for increasing racial and gender inclusion in the industry.
For over 100 years, the building trades unions have been the model of successful apprenticeship education and training programs in the U.S.  The Building Trades “earn while you learn” apprenticeship model combines formal classroom training with paid on-the-job training, providing a first step up the ladder to economic well-being.
“Apprenticeship has built the workforce that has built America,” said Frank Callahan, President of the Massachusetts Building Trades. “Training is a full time commitment by our unions and contractors, funded to the tune of over $40 million annually in Massachusetts.  This commitment to training satisfies the workforce demands of today and tomorrow, and helps raise standards throughout the construction industry.”
A top priority of the building and construction trades unions in Massachusetts over the past several years has been expanding opportunities to historically underrepresented groups through Project Labor Agreements (PLAs), building trades pre-apprenticeship programs, and partnerships with the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues and community groups.
“Investment in initiatives like these support women and people of color in achieving access, opportunity and equity in the construction industry, and strengthen both our building trades unions and our communities,” said Brian Doherty, General Agent, Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District.
The Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues (PGTI), founded in 2008, has brought together over 75 construction industry stakeholders to increase access to and demand for women in the industry.  PGTI works to ensure women have jobs by working with project owners on meeting workforce goals.  PGTI has found that where women are given access to high-wage, high-skill careers through quality apprenticeship training, coupled with commitments from owners to hire a diverse workforce, women can and do flourish in these careers.
“There’s something special happening here. For almost 40 years, efforts to bring more women into the trades have been largely unsuccessful,” Susan Moir, PGTI co-convener and Research Director, UMass Boston Labor Resource Center. “PGTI’s strategy of focusing on project owners improving compliance with workforce goals – of ensuring there is demand for women on the job – is turning the tide.  Women’s percentage of the work hours in Boston has almost doubled in the last five years. Our goal is 20% by 2020.”
“I love being a Sheet Metal Worker,” said fifth-year Local 17 Sheet Metal Worker apprentice Shamaiah Tibet-Turner, a testament to this success. “I love that it’s challenging both physically and mentally. I’m thankful for my apprenticeship program because I now have access to a rewarding and stable career that’s going to make sure that I can take care of myself and my family now and after I retire.”
The November 15th event will feature PGTI’s first annual “Crushing the Barriers to Women in Apprenticeship” Awards which will go to Walsh Brothers and the Elevator Constructors Local 4 registered apprenticeship program.
Walsh Brothers is being recognized for its work on the Integrated Sciences Complex at UMass Boston, a $180 million project completed under a union PLA that met the workforce goals for employing women and people of color.
“We’ve made the business decision to hire a diverse, well-trained workforce,” said Walsh Brothers owner, Richie Walsh. “We would not have access to a trained, diverse workforce without union apprenticeships.  We will continue to work with our partners to expand opportunities for all workers.”
The Elevator Constructors Local 4 Boston Registered Apprenticeship Program will be honored for adopting an innovative “direct entry” policy to accept graduates of the Building Pathways Building Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Program.
“The building trades unions are leading the way in innovative workforce development by providing increased opportunities to underserved communities through the use of apprenticeship readiness programs such as Building Pathways,” said Mary Vogel, Executive Director of Building Pathways.
“I grew up in Dorchester, right down the street from Local 4,” said Building Pathways graduate and first year Elevator Constructor apprentice Alex Monteiro, sharing his enthusiasm for his new career. “Every day is exciting. Every day new challenges present an opportunity to learn.  You can’t get this anywhere else. No matter what background you have, union apprenticeship will change your life. While I’m investing in my career, my union’s investing in me and my future.”
Sponsors of the November 15th celebration include the Massachusetts Building Trades Council, Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District, Building Trades Training Directors’ Association, Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues, Building Pathways, Inc., Building Trades Employers Association, Greater Boston Plumbing Contractors Association, National Electrical Contractors Association of Greater Boston, and New England Mechanical Contractors Association.
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The Massachusetts Building Trades represents 75,000 workers. www.massbuildingtrades.org
The Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues works to crush the barriers to women in high-skill, high-wage careers in union construction. www.policygroupontradeswomen.org

Building Pathways Inc. is a building trades unions pre-apprenticeship program that recruits and trains women and people of color to prepare them for the building trades.