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.

Employment Trends and Projections in Construction

Beginning this year, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) will publish Quarterly Data Reports to illuminate the quickly changing construction industry and better serve construction stakeholders. These data reports, published on CPWR’s website, will cover topics directly related to the safety and health of construction workers. They will be presented in a similar format to the CPWR Data Briefs, but will be published four times per year. Read more »

Injured Workers Suffer As 'Reforms' Limit Workers' Compensation Benefits

(NPR/ProPublica) Dennis Whedbee's crew was rushing to prepare an oil well for pumping on the Sweet Grass Woman lease site, a speck of dusty plains rich with crude in Mandaree, N.D.

It was getting late that September afternoon in 2012. Whedbee, a 50-year-old derrick hand, was helping another worker remove a pipe fitting on top of the well when it suddenly blew. Read more »

Trades sponsor Women Building Minnesota info sessions

Women considering a career in the construction industry can learn what it takes – and why it pays – to become a successful tradeswoman at two Women Building Minnesota information sessions next month. Read more »

Tradespeople make their case for construction careers

(Duluth News Tribune) “We gotta get young blood into our crafts,” said Russ Whitehouse, a retired Duluth ironworker who continues to serve as an apprentice instructor. “We’re starting to get older.” Read more »

Helping Women Veterans Find Sheet Metal Apprenticeships

After serving their country, many veterans have trouble transitioning into civilian jobs, particularly younger and female service members. The unemployment rate among all veterans ages 18–24 is 21.3% (compared to 13.1% of civilians.  And while male veterans have an unemployment rate (4.2%) lower than the national rate, female veterans are much worse off with a 7.9% unemployment rate. Read more »

Classic CPWR Training Tools: Ahora en Español!

The U.S. construction industry employs upwards of two million Latinos, most of them foreign-born. They suffer death and injury on the job at rates well above the industry average, and many would benefit from quality Spanish-language safety and health materials. Read more »

Union Construction Training Program Graduates First All-Female Class in CT

For the first time since its inception in 1999, New Haven County’s own Construction Worker Initiative 2 (CWI2) graduated its first all-female class. On October 23rd, 37 women collected certifications in carpentry or painting and taping from the training school. The program, which prepares the city’s un- and underemployed residents for careers in construction, generally trains 200-300 males and females each year. Read more »

Electrical Workers crash Bonfe’s open house

Bonfe’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Service held an open house for prospective employees last night in St. Paul, but not everyone on the guest list appreciated the invite.

About two dozen members of St. Paul-based Local 110 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers surrounded Bonfe’s property during the open house. They carried signs and banners, distributed leaflets and warned the public – and potential employees – that Bonfe’s does not pay its electricians wages and benefits that meet area standards. Read more »

Trades showcase apprenticeship programs at Construct Tomorrow career fair

Maria Meza watched intently as Robbie Luukkonen, a journeyman member of Bricklayers Local 1, installed ceramic tile onto a makeshift practice wall. When Luukkonen had finished the demonstration, Meza picked up the tools and tried tiling for herself.

This is the way Meza, who graduated from St. Paul Johnson High School in the spring, learns best. “I’m a hands-on type of person,” she explained. “I’m not the type of person to sit behind a computer all day.” Read more »

Construction Hits Five-Year High in New Jobs Report, Unions Making Gains in Unexpected Places

The latest numbers from the ADP jobs report show construction at a five-year high.  Last month, construction jobs grew by 36,000, more than double May’s 17,000 added jobs and the largest monthly gain since February of 2006.  

The sharp rise in construction jobs signals a surging housing market.  According to ADP, 6.1 million people are now employed in the construction industry. Read more »