Training News

DOL Secretary Solis Praises Union Apprenticeship Programs

Journal: Issue 2 - 2011

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis celebrated 100 years of apprenticeship on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on June 6, 2011 by trying her hand at laying bricks and calling joint apprenticeships “one of this country’s best kept secrets.”

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and IU President James Boland at the Labor Department’s “Out Build …Out Educate” event on the National Mall. Apprentices from the BAC/IMI John J. Flynn International Training Center with IU President Boland from left include: Robert Gordon of Local 9 Pennsylvania – Brick; Mike Vasquez of Local 1 New York – PCC; and William Bailey of Local 4 Indiana/Kentucky – Brick.

Secretary Solis was joined on stage by IU President James Boland and other union representatives as well as BAC Local 4 Indiana/Kentucky apprentice William Bailey. With the U.S. Capitol in the background and an impressive crowd looking on, Secretary Solis declared, “I’ve witnessed the incredible partnerships that labor and management have created. Registered apprenticeships continue to provide first-rate training, which afford good jobs with decent pay, so that people can support their families and make it into the middle class.”

She praised labor and industry leaders for working together and “matching skills so that people who get trained can have a clear and direct pathway to meaningful careers in the 21st century.”

Ian Brady, UA Apprentice of the Year speaks about his experience as an apprentice and journeyman. Secretary Solis tries her hand at bricklaying at the BAC/IMI demonstration area.

The event was billed as “Out Educate…Out Build” and featured mobile training facilities from BAC, IBEW, UA and the Painters. Building and Construction Trades Department President Mark Ayers noted, “The history of America’s apprenticeship system teaches us that sound investments in skills today are likely to yield high returns in the form of added earnings and improved productivity tomorrow and well into the future. Put simply, a national commitment to enhanced training can reduce income inequality while promoting economic growth.”

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