The term “professionals” often elicits thoughts of college graduates, and not necessarily the skilled tradespeople providing essential services that ensure our daily lives run smoothly. Members of UA Local 447 Labor Union are working to change that mindset by providing access to education and working to strengthen relationships among labor, management, and their contractors.
“Our employees are our greatest asset and the working relationship between labor and management enables us to achieve our mutual goals,” says Michael Avakian, Sacramento Construction Sales Manager at ACCO Engineered Systems. “We work together to enrich work life experiences and spend as much time nurturing a new way of relating to one another as we do resolving conflicts.”
Local 447, along with their contractor members and other trade partners, works tirelessly to bring construction technology back to middle- and high-school classrooms. One example is Rosemont High School’s Engineering, Construction & Design Academy, which has exceeded enrollment goals and continues to add to its robust curriculum.
“Our employees are our greatest asset and the working relationship between labor and management enables us to achieve our mutual goals.” — Michael Avakian, Sacramento Construction Sales Manager, ACCO Engineered Systems
“A hurdle we face is recruitment of our next generation of the construction workforce,” says Andrew Booth, P.E., mechanical engineer at Frank M. Booth, Inc. “Fortunately, labor and management are working together to solve our future workforce needs. A good example is the recent success of Rosemont High School’s Engineering, Construction & Design Academy.”
Labor and management are also working with state and local elected officials to secure funding to establish a new adult education program at Hiram Johnson High School. This program will focus on career pathways and apprenticeship opportunities in the trades for residents who are looking for a fulfilling career opportunity in the building trades. Once the adult program is established, focus will turn to providing construction technology education and opportunities for the high-school students.
Todd Schiavo, business manager and financial secretary at Local 447, concludes, “We’re creating multiple pathways to fulfilling, lifelong careers in the plumbing, pipe fitting and HVAC industries for students that are ready to enter the world of work after high school, focusing on partnerships that will benefit individuals who live in our most underserved communities.”