All posts tagged 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.

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 →

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.

DOL Grants Permanent IRAP Exemption To Construction Industry

On March 10, the U.S. Department of Labor granted the construction industry a permanent exemption from Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs, otherwise known as IRAPs.

The exemption was a huge win for the union construction industry and their signatory contractors, who combine to invest more than $1 billion in private sector money to fund and operate over 1,900 apprenticeship training and education facilities across North America. This ongoing commitment has been in place for roughly 80 years and has consistently produced the safest, most highly trained and most highly skilled construction workforce.

IRAPs differ from registered apprenticeships because they are not regulated by the government and give employers – or an affiliated partner – the ability to train new construction workers without any regulations or governmental oversight.

In its final ruling, the DOL acknowledged the quality, availability and longevity of the building trades registered apprenticeship programs as the main reasons for granting the permanent exemption. Continue reading →

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 →

Repeal of Prevailing Wage has hurt West Virginia Construction Workers

A recent study showed the repeal of Prevailing Wage laws in West Virginia negatively impacted the state’s construction workers and did not save taxpayers money.

The data in this study, conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and the Midwest Economic Policy Institute (MEPI), validated the conclusion reached by the School Building Authority of West Virginia in 2017 that the “repeal of West Virginia’s Prevailing Wage law has had no statistically significant effect on school construction costs.”

This new UMKC-MEPI study showed the loss of Prevailing Wage resulted in minimal wage
savings on new-build school projects, which were outweighed by change orders and poor craftsmanship. 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 →

Cincinnati leaders attempting to stall Responsible Bidder ordinance implementation

Following an early January Ohio Appeals Court ruling that cleared the way for Cincinnati to enforce its disputed Responsible Bidder ordinance, the city administration is now attempting to stall its implementation.

The ordinance requires contractors on certain public construction projects to have graduated at least one employee from a registered apprenticeship program every year for the last five years. This ordinance is to be implemented in conjunction with a local hire program as well. The Responsible Bidder ordinance essentially requires contractors to supply a union workforce for Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) projects over $400,000. Contracts under $400,000 are exempt from the ordinance in order to allow smaller businesses to bid on these projects.

By creating the ordinance, the city understood that a registered apprenticeship program produces a construction worker who, regardless of race or gender, works efficiently and can help save time and money on the jobsite. Continue reading →

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