Department of Labor Recognizes LIUNA Apprenticeship
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) apprenticeship programs received recognition as a 21st Century Trailblazer and Innovator. The recognition includes a showcase at the Department’s 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act on August 2, 1012 in Washington, D. C.
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis will participate in the 75th anniversary commemoration with recipients of the Trailblazer award. Representing LIUNA will be LIUNA General President Terence O’Sullivan and LIUNA Training and Education Fund Executive Director, John LeConche.
At the event, apprenticeship stakeholders will attend “Out Educate, Out Build, Out Innovate”, a National Education and Action Summit. Each Trailblazer Apprenticeship Program will be highlighted through informational and photographic displays
Trailblazer recognition rewards programs which demonstrate innovation and pioneering efforts resulting in positive impacts on U. S. apprenticeship. LIUNA’s nomination as a Trailblazer emphasized inroads into the new Home Performance industry, development of career pathways, and increasing apprenticeship access for diverse populations.
Mr. LeConche commented on what the Trailblazer award meant to LIUNA Training. “We appreciate DOL’s recognition and the opportunity to spread the word about the value of apprenticeship in building a skilled American workforce. Sometimes apprenticeship gets lost in the focus on post-secondary education; but the Trailblazer award highlights the importance of trade training as a direct path toward rewarding careers.”
In support of the 21st Century Apprenticeship Trailblazer goals, LIUNA demonstrated progress and actions on several DOL goals.
Goal 1: Innovation and Access to New Industries: In 2011, LIUNA established the only registered Home Performance Laborer apprenticeship program in the energy efficiency, renewable energy, and environmental industries. Apprentices can acquire industry recognized certificates in Demolition/Deconstruction, Weatherization Installer/Technician and other specialized skills.
Goal 2: Post-Secondary Paths to Careers: LIUNA apprenticeship programs link education, training, and work to help individuals build careers with strong professional growth opportunities. Many have articulation agreements with community colleges, which award college credit for training and job experience obtained during apprenticeship. Relationships with vocational and charter schools facilitate apprenticeship entry and allow credit toward apprenticeship training. As LIUNA members, apprentice graduates can access advanced training in construction, environmental and energy efficiency leading to new career opportunities.
Goal 3: Diversity in Registered Apprenticeship: LIUNA actively recruits members and apprentices from disadvantaged and minority populations, including women, veterans, and ex-offenders. Among the construction trades, LIUNA’s apprenticeship programs have one of the highest percentages of minority participation. For example, in Southern California over 86% of apprentices are minorities and in NJ 55%. LIUNA apprenticeship programs also work with veterans groups to provide direct and advanced entry into apprenticeship through the Helmets to Hardhats program.
As the training arm of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, LIUNA Training develops industry skills standards, creates courses, trains instructors, and works with more than 70 affiliated LIUNA Local training centers located throughout the United States and Canada. More than 50 different training programs in construction, environmental, residential and home performance industry specialties, and in worker safety and supervisory skills, prepare workers to meet the challenges of the construction industry.