APPRENTICESHIP, TRAINING & APPRENTICESHIP READINESS
Construction is an industry that will always need skilled workers. Economists are predicting an oncoming surge in capital construction investments in virtually every region of the nation. Add to that the fact that the labor demographics of the U.S. construction show that a significant number of current construction workers are due to retire in the next five to ten years.
In short, our unions, and our industry, are now looking for workers to enter apprenticeships. And we are placing a strong emphasis upon building bridges for minorities, women, and military veterans to gain access to these opportunities that will place them on a trajectory towards a stable, secure middle-class life.
Little is spent in many other industries to train the next generation of U.S. workers. That is not the case in the unionized construction industry where Building Trades unions, craft workers, and their employer partners invest approximately $1 billion per year across the nation in skilled craft training. Coupled with the wages and benefits that apprentices receive through our "earn-while-you-learn" programs, that nationwide investment is approximately $9 billion!
In the greater Baltimore/Washington, DC region, our unions invest tens of millions of dollars annually on such training. The money for this training is raised through contributions by our members and our signatory contractors.
Access to career training is the foundational basis for the labor-community alliance that the Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades views as a major priority. Through vehicles like Community Workforce Agreements and apprenticeship readiness programs, the Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades is intent upon taking active steps towards ensuring that women, minorities, military veterans, and other under-served communities are deriving significant economic and social benefit from local and regional construction investments.
In addition to this unique commitment to training, local building trades councils are working with local governments, as well as public and private project owners, to join together in the creation of structured career training opportunities, through pre-apprenticeship programs, for under-represented populations.
The regional representatives of the Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades have successfully graduated students through the Baltimore Apprenticeship Readiness and DC Metro Apprenticeship Readiness programs, which are designed to provide a structured opportunity for citizens in disadvantaged communities to gain access to skill craft apprenticeship training. Upon completion of this program, graduates will be ready to enter into an apprenticeship opportunity with the construction trades. Each affiliate operates their own apprenticeship programs, which include classroom and hands-on learning techniques, within state-of the-art training centers.