Staying ahead of the game is essential to the longevity of any business. Union construction work is no different. As green energy continues to flourish, many local Iron Workers unions are stepping up their efforts to prepare their members for the construction jobs of the future.
Among this lot are the Iron Workers Local 22 of Indianapolis who have announced they are adding a hands-on Wind Turbine program at their apprenticeship and training facility. As clean energy jobs come to the region, Local 22 wants to ensure its workers are properly trained to safely work on new projects.
“We’re already working with White Construction on phase one of a 600-turbine project ,” said Local 22’s Business Manager, Jeff Stinson, who organized the launch of the new training course.
“200 wind turbines are included in phase one, with 200 more in phases two and three. With our training program, we’re in a prime position to complete these projects skillfully, on time and under budget,” Stinson said.
Local 22 is not alone. They join Local 6, Buffalo, NY; Local 27, Salt Lake City, UT; Local 263, Dallas/Fort Worth; Local 433, Los Angeles; and Local 444, Joliet, IL in flying high on green tech.
Wind turbine training for unions began in 2010 after the Department of Labor (DOL) awarded the Iron Worker Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust (IMPACT) grants under the Green Energy Training Partnership. After the grants expired in January of 2012 many local unions decided to spring for the cost themselves in order to continue the programs. According to Lee Worley, Executive Director of Apprenticeship and Training:
“The DOL grant ran through January 2012, but locals—like Local 22—have indicated that they are more than willing to make the investment in setting up their own training.” At $45,000, the price tag for all the required training equipment isn’t cheap, Worley explained.
However, the investment is well worth it as it keeps workers up-to-date on the latest trends in the business and qualifies them for many upcoming projects. Kudos to these local unions for promoting the power of infrastructure investment.