News - Sheet Metal Worker Local Union 24

In new program, OSHA will target heat illnesses to keep workers safe

Posted by / April 15, 2022 / Categories: News / Tags: , , / 0 Comments

Workers may soon get some much needed protection from heat illnesses and injuries, thanks to a new program from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

On April 12, U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Vice President Kamala Harris announced the program at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 Training Center in Philadelphia.

Under the program, OSHA will conduct heat-related workplace inspections in order to avoid heat related illnesses, injuries and deaths that are highly preventable.  Continue reading →

Proposed Davis Bacon updates are good news for member of SMW 24

For the first time in over 40 years, the government has proposed updating the Davis-Bacon regulations.

The 1931 Davis-Bacon Act requires the payment of Prevailing Wage rates on federal or federally assisted construction contracts. The law applies to workers on contracts in excess of $2,000 entered into by federal agencies and the District of Columbia for the construction, alteration or repair of public buildings or public works. It protects local wage standards by preventing contractors from basing bids on cheaper wages than those prevailing locally. 

If the proposal is acted upon, it would directly benefit members of Sheet Metal Workers Local 24 members, along with other union building trades and even some non-union construction workers. It would benefit all Local 24 members working on federal projects, especially on contracts at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which have been particularly prevalent.  Continue reading →

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. Continue reading →

Intel to build one of world’s largest microchip plants in Central Ohio

Posted by / January 24, 2022 / Categories: Columbus / Tags: , , , / 0 Comments

Hundreds of jobs expected for SMW Local 24 members

Central Ohio will soon be home to one of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturing plants.

On Jan. 21, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger jointly announced plans to build a $20 billion Intel complex in the Columbus area. It is believed to be the largest private-sector investment in Ohio history. 

The new Intel project will likely create hundreds of jobs for Local 24 members. The project will produce about 7,000 construction jobs, 3,000 full-time jobs and support tens of thousands of additional local long-term jobs across a broad ecosystem of suppliers and partners.  Continue reading →

2022 Central Ohio Construction Forecast Strong

Unions need to grow to meet strong job demand

The 2022 forecast for construction work in Central Ohio looks strong, as the region will continue to be one of the nation’s hotbeds. 

Despite supply chain shortages and manpower issues, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Dorsey Hager is expecting a booming year.

Some projects in Ohio, including several within the C/COBCTC jurisdiction, slowed last year due to a lack of materials. Contractors were affected by shortages in steel, electrical parts, roofing material, brick, drywall, paint and other items. As a result, some projects were pushed back, but in many instances, contractors simply adjusted schedules to accommodate material delays.  Continue reading →

Amgen Plant Breaks Ground Amid Columbus’ Construction Boom

Workers broke ground on an Amgen biotech facility in New Albany on Nov. 5.

The Los Angeles-based biotech firm is building a 277,000-square-foot pharmaceutical assembly and packaging plant on 177 acres in New Albany. The new project is expected to create about 350 to 500 construction jobs, including work for members of Sheet Metal Workers Local 24. The project’s architect is CRB Group, and Turner Construction Co. is the general contractor.

“Environmental sustainability will be a priority, and we aspire for this plant to be LEED-certified and designed,” said Sam Guhan, Vice President of Engineering at Amgen, in a prepared statement. “We will maximize energy efficiency and waste reduction, advancing Amgen’s plan to make our operations carbon neutral over the next several years.”   Continue reading →

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 →

Sellers, Union Leaders Celebrate the Passage of Historical Infrastructure Bill

SMART General President Joseph Sellers, Jr., along with other union leaders, celebrated the signing of the five-year $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. 

“The bill can create jobs for existing SMART members and spur new union jobs, which will help us grow the power of union,” said Sellers in a prepared statement on the SMART website. 

“The bill includes over $1 billion in funding for Indoor Air Quality for schools along with commercial and residential buildings that can be used for badly needed HVAC upgrades,” he said. 

Sellers also noted the legislation will invest $25 billion in airport and $17 billion in port infrastructure to not only address repair and maintenance backlogs, but to invest in keeping America’s supply chain moving.  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.

Construction to Begin on Amazon Datacenter in Central Ohio

Construction on Amazon’s second datacenter campus in the Central Ohio area is expected to begin by the end of the year.

The Amazon datacenter in Hilliard will be the largest in the region — an area that has been touted as Ohio’s Silicon Valley.

The region has had an influx of construction jobs thanks to numerous datacenters being built by a variety of technology companies. Both Google and Facebook are currently constructing datacenters in New Albany. Amazon has another datacenter campus in Hilliard, as well as separate datacenter buildings in Dublin and New Albany.

The Columbus area is also home to other numerous, smaller datacenters. Continue reading →