All posts in Apprenticeship

Study shows registered apprenticeship is greater than a college degree

Posted by / February 14, 2022 / Categories: Apprenticeship / Tags: , , / 0 Comments

Registered building trades apprenticeship programs provide a better path to the middle class than a traditional college bachelor’s degree, according to a recent study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute.

Entitled  “Union Apprenticeships: The Bachelor’s Degrees of the Construction Industry, Data for the United States, 2010-2020,” the report analyzes 10 years of data from the Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which is released by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The study explored how registered apprenticeship programs provide training hours, diversity outcomes, competitive earnings and positive social and fiscal effects that rival universities and community colleges. These programs achieve these outcomes without student debt, which averages $39,000 per student borrower in the U.S.

“For young workers, the unionized building trades’ registered apprenticeship programs offer excellent alternatives to achieving financial stability and upward economic mobility,” the study’s authors Frank Manzo IV and Erik Thorson wrote.

Graduates of registered apprenticeship programs can achieve near wage and benefits parity with other types of workers with bachelor’s degrees. The earn while you learn model gives apprentices a quality education without the weight of substantial debt, which allows them to be better financially positioned than those who have just graduated with only a bachelor’s degree.

There are three apprentice training facilities in the Local 24 region: Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus (including South Point). Each of these state-of-the-art training centers prepares men and women for a successful career as a Sheet Metal Worker. Learn more about the SMW 24 apprenticeship program and how to become an apprentice.

The study noted construction workers who complete non-union apprenticeships do not fare as well. Their wages are more comparable to workers who only have high school diplomas. Union construction workers earn an average of $58,000, which is 46 percent higher than the median income of a non-union construction worker at $39,700.

The gap is even greater when fringe benefits are considered. About 89 percent of union construction workers have private health insurance coverage, compared to just 55 percent of nonunion construction workers, according to the study.

Average incomes for workers with associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees range from $48,200 to $68,200, and private health insurance coverage ranges from 84 percent to 90 percent.

Click here to apply to the Sheet Metal Workers Local 24 registered apprenticeship program.

In the face of a silver tsunami, union apprentices are high in demand

The Great Resignation means union building trades apprentices are more valued and needed than ever before.

That is the premise of a recent Dayton Daily News article that details the importance of apprentices to the local economy, especially as more Americans are quitting their jobs and reassessing what they want from a career.

Continue reading →

H.B. 235 would mandate apprenticeships for construction workers

A proposed Ohio House Bill would mandate construction workers to either complete a registered apprenticeship or have five years of industrial experience in order to work in a refinery. 

Rep. DJ Swearingen (R-Huron) and Brian Baldridge (R-Winchester) introduced House Bill 235, The High Hazard Training Certification Act, in March. In addition to the training requirement, the legislation sets safety standard mandates, including OSHA-30 certification for all construction workers who work in a refinery.

If passed and signed into law, H.B. 235 will create two classifications of journeyman construction workers: Class A and Class B. 

Class A Journeymen are graduates of any state or Department of Labor approved apprenticeship program and hold an OSHA-30 certification. This designation essentially covers every tradesman and tradeswoman who completed a building trades registered apprenticeship program.

Class B Journeymen are those with at least five years (10,000 hours) of industrial construction experience in their craft and hold an OSHA-30 certification. Individuals who fall under this classification did not enter or complete a registered apprenticeship program. For the union construction industry, this designation pertains mostly to those non-union workers who were organized into a Local. The legislation would allow apprentices in any state or Department of Labor approved apprenticeship training programs to also work in an Ohio refinery, locations that have been classified as “high-hazard.” 

The bill was sparked after Canadian-based Cenovus purchased two Ohio oil refineries and replaced highly skilled and highly trained local union building trades members with construction workers from the Gulf Coast during turnarounds.

The affected refineries included the Lima refinery and the BP-Cenovus refinery in Toledo. 

As a result, Ohio union construction workers lost work. Using unskilled workers for the turnarounds have also created safety issues and quality control concerns.

The bill has 24 House co-sponsors from both parties.

SMART Members Contribute to Historic Number of Comments Submitted to the DOL against IRAPs

North America’s Building Trades Unions called effort to submit comments to the U.S. Department of Labor against Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs, also called IRAPs, record setting.

In an Aug. 27 prepared statement, NABTU said nearly 325,000 Americans told the DOL they do not support IRAPs in the construction industry. The number of submitted comments broke the previous record of 25,000 submitted on changes to overtime pay.

According to a statement on the SMART website, SMART members submitted just over 18,000 comments to the DOL, with several thousand more comments submitted by friends and family members. Continue reading →

SMART Rallies against IRAPs

From the International level and down, unions are rallying their members to tell the U.S. Department of Labor Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs, also known as IRAPs, do not belong in the construction industry.

With the potential fate of registered apprenticeships hanging in the balance, North America’s Building Trades Unions, SMART, other International Unions and are reaching out to all members and urging them to take action and comment against the implantation of IRAPs before the Aug. 26 deadline. Continue reading →

Second-Year Apprentices Complete COMET Training

Second-year Sheet Metal Workers Local 24 apprentices recently completed COMET training to help them better understand the role organizing plays in helping grow our union.

Construction Organizing Membership Education Training (COMET) was created in the mid-90s by what was then known as the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), now called North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU). The BCTD noticed an alarming trend as the number of building trades unions and affiliated members were both in rapid decline. Continue reading →

City of Columbus Signs Historic Community Benefits Agreement with Building Trades

The City of Columbus and the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council signed a historic Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) to  partner together to ensure the work to construct Columbus Fire Station No. 35 is performed by the area’s building trades.

The CBA also requires the C/COBCTC to host apprenticeship-recruitment fairs and to contribute 5 cents per hour worked on the project, to be deposited into a scholarship fund for apprenticeship programs.

“This agreement includes many firsts for our city, all built on my commitment to expanding Columbus’ success to every person in every neighborhood,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. “This agreement offers the City and its residents many benefits.”

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SMW 24 Participates in Construction Career Fair

Our Columbus JATC represented Sheet Metal Workers Local 24 at a construction career fair in Columbus.

The Jan. 26 career fair was an opportunity for Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades affiliated unions, such as Sheet Metal Workers Local 24, to reach out directly to potential apprentice candidates.

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High School Students Visit SMW 24 Dayton JATC

Area high school students got an upclose look at what it takes to be a member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 24.

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, students from the Upper Valley Career Center visited the Dayton JATC to learn about the work Local 24 members perform, the training members receive and about the money they can earn working in this trade.

Continue reading →

Local 24 Recruits Veterans at Job Fair

In late July, the Columbus/Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council hosted a career fair for veterans. The fair aimed to educate attendees about the numerous career opportunities with the trades in Central Ohio. Representatives from various local building trades apprenticeship programs attended and eagerly shared information about their crafts, including Sheet Metal Workers Local 24.

The building trades are particularly interested in recruiting veterans, because of the great skills learned while serving our country. The program Helmets to Hardhats (H2H), which is aimed at veteran recruitment and retention, helps to achieve this goal through a grant that provides veterans entering an apprenticeship program the necessary supplies/tools, work boots and stipend to guarantee achievement. Continue reading →