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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 →

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 →

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 →

Bill will Aid High School Apprenticeship Recruitment

Sheet Metal Workers Local 24 stands to benefit from a bill recently passed in the Ohio House.

House members voted unanimously to approve House Bill 98, the Ohio High School Career Opportunity Act, which gives equal opportunity for representatives from colleges and universities, the armed forces, skilled trades, businesses and charitable organizations to present information on future career and post-graduate opportunities to high school students.

HB 98 now moves to the Senate for possible committee hearings and floor vote. If passed by the Senate, it will become law and give the building trades more access to public schools to expose students to careers in the building trades. Continue reading →