TAMPA, FL – On Thursday, May 10th, representatives from building and construction trade unions from around the Tampa Bay area joined with faith and community leaders in the African American community to host an apprenticeship career fair at the NFL YET Center to raise awareness about career opportunities that they provide. Members of the community were able to talk to apprenticeship coordinators from local unions about apprenticeship programs that offer paid training, skills and industry certifications, and a path to a successful career with high pay and unrivaled benefits.
“Highly skilled building trades craftsmen are in high demand all over the country as production of industrial facilities, equipment, and infrastructure continues to grow. The union building trades is committed to training and supplying the industry with the most highly skilled and qualified workforce available. Start your Union Building Trades career making well above minimum wage plus pensions and health care on day one, there is nobody else that can do that for you.” – Lee Middleton, Training Director, UA Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 123, Tampa, FL
Young people in America have been told that if they want to get a good job, they have to go to college. Few recognize the egregious falsehood of this statement more than those in the building and construction trades. With tried and true apprenticeship programs that provide valuable skills and trade certifications that often leave those who “top out” (graduate) making six figure salaries with excellent benefits, it is regrettable that the opportunities they provide are often overlooked.
“As the construction industry continues to see a shortage of skilled workers, the International Union of Operating Engineers apprenticeship program continues to develop the next generation of well-trained, skilled professionals from our local communities, providing them with jobsite training and curriculum that prepares them to enter the workforce as highly trained experts in the industry.” – Jim Junecko, Secretary, FL Gulf Coast Building and Construction Trades Council; Business Agent, Int’l Union of Operating Engineers Local 487-District 925, Tampa, FL
In an age where college debt is rampant, skilled labor is in short supply, and many millennials are looking for path to success, these apprenticeship programs are a light in the darkness. Whether those in search of a career are about to graduate high school, or are burnt out from the struggle of being unskilled in the workforce, the trades can offer a lifeline for those who commit to working hard and dedicating themselves to the goal of completing the program.
“As a Heat and Frost Insulator, you’ll do the transformative work that ensures both the strength of our economy as well as the continued safety of employees at these facilities and the public at large.” – Jacob A Walker, Apprenticeship Training Coordinator, Central FL Heat and Frost Insulators, JAC Local 67, Tampa, FL
The groups that cooperated to put this event together include the West Central Florida Labor Council, the Florida Gulf Coast Building and Construction Trades, the East Tampa Business and Civic Association, the Collective Empowerment Group of the Tampa Bay Area, Pastors on Patrol, Organize Now, Allied Security Services, and the Tampa Bay Coalition of Clergy, and they highly encourage everyone to reach out to the trades even if they could not make it out. This conversation could be the first step toward a rewarding, lifelong career.
Jack Jarrell, Business Manager of Ironworkers Local 397 and President of the FL Gulf Coast Building and Construction Trades Council, had this to say:
“Great opportunities are here for men & women to have a life long career in the Union Ironworker trade which consists of Structural Steel erection, Reinforcing Steel placement, Ornamental Metals, Rigging, and Certified Welding (AWS), just to say a few. Ironworkers L.U. 397 Tampa Apprenticeship has a state of the art training center at no cost to the student, and if you have some of the skills, you will be tested and slotted in the journeyman upgrade program.
If you were unable to visit us at the career fair, please feel free to stop by and fill out an application from 8:00am to 4:00pm M-F (DL. & SS card required)
10201 U. S. Hwy 92 E. Tampa ,Fl. 33610
Visit our website, IWL397.com.
Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.”
The community would like to thank the following trades for participating in the career fair, and those involved would encourage anyone who could not make it out reach out to them using the info provided to talk about career opportunities:
- Ironworkers Local 397, IWL397.com
- Boilermakers Local 433, (813) 626-4105
- Operating Engineers Local 487, (813) 626-4161
- Laborers Local 517, (407) 299-4000
- Tampa Area Electrical JATC, tampajatc.org
- Painters and Allied Trades Dist. Council 78, (813) 390-7076
- Central Florida Heat and Frost Insulators JAC, (813) 763-8885
- Sheet Metal Workers Local 15, (813) 623-5074
- Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 123, (813) 754-4054
For more information on the trades and the opportunities they have to offer, visit https://nabtu.org/ .
West Central FL Labor Council, FL AFL-CIO is a labor federation made up of over 80 local unions and 100,000 workers, retirees, and their families across 12 counties in West Central Florida.