Thursday, September 29, 2016

In Demand: Worker Training Remains a Priority

"It pays to know a trade."

We couldn't agree more with those words, which appeared in an editorial published Sept. 2 in The Canton Repository. After the Columbus Dispatch reported that Ohio companies were experiencing "greater than average"difficulty filling jobs in the construction trades, the Repository expressed support for a new law designed to help that will take effect in 2017.

Construction trades Canton Ohio

The workforce development plan, which got a $10 million boost in the state's 2015 operating budget, provides grants of up to $5,000 for students who seek training in a field where there is a shortage of workers. State Rep. Kirk Schuring of Jackson Township was a supporter of the funding, which requires an experiential component like an apprenticeship in a trade.

Our chairman, Dave Kirven, who is business manager for Plumbers & Pipefitters Union Local 94 in Canton, said the local shortage isn't currently severe because of the drop off in the oil and gas industry over the last couple of years.

As the editorial pointed out: "There's plenty of work now for established tradesmen between the natural gas power plant being built in Carroll County and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Village project."

We're fortunate in that regard. Still, the importance of worker training remains a priority, which is why apprenticeship programs are so important.

"Ohio must continue to encourage young people to explore careers in the trades and offer adequate training programs for adults transitioning between careers," the Repository editorial said.

The East Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council places a high priority on worker training. For more information about our construction industry apprenticeship programs, click here and click here to view our brochure.

The East Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council is on line at

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Union Membership: The Return on Investment is Strong!

Recent articles from a cross section of websites across the country demonstrated the outstanding return on union apprentice programs and membership.

Ann article titled "I'm In a Union -- You're Welcome," published on on Aug. 20, showed how strong unions result in higher wages for members and nonmembers alike.

the illinois update
The article refers to the decline in private-sector union membership over the past four decades, from a third of all private-sector employees in 1979 to just 6.7 today. It then cites a study by the Economic Policy Institute that suggests the typical full-time private sector worker (union or not) "would be making thousands of dollars more per year if unions had the power they once did to influence a state's or region's standard wages and benefits packages."

Meanwhile, the Midwest Economic Policy Institute published on its website,, an article headlined, "Unionized Construction Workers in Minnesota Get Back $5.59 for Every Dollar Paid in Dues."

The article points out that more than 30 percent of Minnesota construction workers are union members. It also cites statistics from a study by the institute, including substantial wage and benefit increases for union members, dues spent on bargaining and representation, and more.

Finally, an article on The Illinois Update ( said that the state's construction apprenticeship programs return $11 in total benefits for every dollar invested.

"For many young Illinois workers, enrolling in a registered apprenticeship program is a better option than attending a college or university," the article states. 

It goes on to show that registered apprenticeship programs in Illinois' construction industry generate substantial economic benefits to the state.

Time and time again, statistics reveal that the benefits of union membership, and union apprenticeship programs, benefit all workers, across the country.

The East Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council is online at
Keep up with the latest headlines on the council's online publication, The ECO Building Trader.