Building a Union Career

What makes the construction industry different from other industries?

Jobs can't be exported. It's hard to imagine a day where the building needed in Kansas will be built in China and shipped overseas. According to the Buireau for Labor Statistics, the construction industry has been identified as the only goods-producing sector in which employment is expected to grow between 2002 and 2012.

Careers

If you find yourself fascinated with the construction of bridges, skyscrapers, schools and roads, construction might be a career choice for you.

There are many career opportunities in the construction industry. These jobs include carpenters, masons, plumbers and electricians. Employees in these jobs are highly skilled in their trades and gain their education through registered apprenticeships, technical school/college programs or AAS degrees at local community colleges.

Carpenters union’s free workshops a hit with kids

(Reprinted from the Union AdvocateJim Hendricks clapped his hand five times, and the room bustling with more than 30 busy children Saturday morning fell silent. Everyone turned to face Hendricks, a business representative for the Carpenters union, awaiting his instructions. Read more »

North America’s Building Trades Unions: Increasing Apprenticeship Opportunities Through Innovation

(By )  As our nation celebrates National Apprenticeship Week, it is worth noting that for over 100 years North America’s Building Trades Unions and its signatory contractors have funded and operated a skilled craft apprenticeship system that is the envy of the world. Read more »

KEN PETERSON: APPRENTICESHIP TRAINING MEETS WORKFORCE NEEDS OF TODAY AND TOMORROW

(Reprinted from the Union Advocate) Minnesota’s workforce is experiencing tremendous transition. Thousands of our experienced baby boomers are retiring, while many employers are seeking a workforce capable of meeting increased levels of skill to operate new technologies with precision.

An emerging, yet familiar, pathway for some employers to successfully bridge that gap is registered apprenticeship programs. Read more »

Dept of Labor and Obama administration celebrate first-ever National Apprenticeship Week

To "support and encourage apprenticeship programs that will help rebuild our middle class" and "rededicate ourselves to educating more of our people, retraining our workforce, and renewing our nation's promise to put the American dream within the reach of the determined," President Obama proclaimed Nov. 1-7, 2015 National Apprenticeship Week Read more »

Minnesotan named North America’s top tile apprentice

(by Michael Moore, Union Advocate) The trophy on display in Local 1’s New Hope training center may be small, but the accomplishment behind it – Brandon Peterson’s first-place finish in the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers’ International Apprentice Contest – is as grand as they come. Read more »

With new facility, St. Paul Pipefitters double down on commitment to training

(Article by Michael Moore, Union Advocate) A tenant for 111 years, St. Paul Pipefitters Local 455 finally has a home of its own. The union held an open house at its new facility at 1301 L’Orient Street in St. Paul yesterday, celebrating with apprentices, members, retirees, public officials and union leaders. Read more »

New video promotes the popular "Construct Tomorrow" program

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In these days of skyrocketing costs of attending college it would be nice if there was another option available to graduating high school seniors. 

There is. 

It’s called “Construct Tomorrow” and it’s designed to open the door on the career opportunities available in the skilled construction trades. The program began in 2013 at a jobs fair organized by unions from the building trades at Humboldt High School in St. Paul. Since then, the program has expanded rapidly as requests have come in from a growing number schools around the state.  Read more »

Building Trades invited, but unwelcome at Bonfe’s job fair

(by Michael Moore, Union Advocate) Bonfe’s might want to consider a new recruiting strategy. For the second year in a row, the non-union mechanical and electrical contractor invited members of area Building Trades unions to attend an open house for prospective employees. And just like last year, Bonfe’s recruiters spent most of the open house trying to keep union members out. Read more »

Twin Cities sprinkler fitters vote to strike

Members of Sprinkler Fitters Local 417 have voted to strike, overwhelmingly rejecting a proposed three-year contract offered by a contractors group. “They gave us their ‘last, final and best offer’ and the members voted it down quite substantially — 262 to reject, 2 to accept" on Monday, reported Jeff Motschenbacher, Local 417 business manager.

Local 417’s three-year contract with about 30 local contractors who are members of the National Fire Sprinkler Association expired May 31 at midnight. Read more »

Hundreds of construction workers participate in Workers Memorial Day ceremony in Saint Paul

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Still wearing hardhats and bright neon safety vests, hundreds of construction workers walked from their jobs building the new Senate Office Building and renovating the State Capitol to attend Tuesday’s Workers Memorial Day ceremony at the Capitol complex’s Workers Memorial Garden.  Read more »