We’re Training the Next Generation of Skilled Workers
By Aaron Butler
President, Arizona State Building & Construction Trades Council
Almost every conversation I have with my fellow union business managers in Arizona includes a discussion about the need for more skilled workers. Many of our signatory contractors are securing work on major projects ranging from medical facilities to manufacturing plants. In addition, federal, state and local governments are investing in infrastructure and allocating funds to improve transportation, water and sewer systems, energy-production plants, and public facilities. Some of these projects include labor standards that not only create good-paying jobs for skilled tradespersons, but also provide valuable on-the-job experience for apprentices who will continue to build our state for several decades.
Contractors need skilled workers to keep these projects on time and on budget, and they know that hiring union labor is the way to go, especially when quality craftsmanship and safety are top priorities.
AZBTC union affiliate Training Centers offer a proven solution to the worker shortage. Union apprenticeship programs set the standard for skilled-labor training. Students graduate with valuable on-the-job experience and mastery of the highly specialized skills that are in demand right now on job sites throughout Arizona. Union training programs are privately funded, receive no taxpayer dollars, and enable students to graduate with no debt.
Unions strengthen the middle class. They create career paths that lead to good-paying jobs. The ripple effects of these private and public investments in our state and the jobs they create will be felt for generations. And as one generation of skilled workers retires, AZBTC unions are training the next generation to build our state’s factories, schools, hospitals, and bridges well into the 21st Century.