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Season 4, Episode 226

LIUNA Advantage and LIUNA Learn create opportunities for new members



Guest Name:

John LeConche and Bernadette Olivera-Rivera

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Executive Director John LeConche, and Assistant Director Bernadette Olivera-Rivera, for the LIUNA Training and Education Fund, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast as a part of our coverage of National Apprenticeship Week to discuss LIUNA Advantage.

LeConche started in the 1970s at Laborer’s Local 230 in Hartford, Conn. He is a third-generation Laborer as his father was part of the Local when it was initially chartered, and now both of LeConche’s sons have come through the Local. Olivera-Rivera was originally in the corporate world and journeyed into teaching middle school before finding her calling by working in the non-profit sector. She was initially working on a pre-apprenticeship program for LIUNA before being recruited to join LIUNA’s Training and Education Fund.

The most significant aspect of LIUNA’s Training and Education Fund is its vast network, creating a strong foundation covering all the states and regions of the U.S. and Canada. The apprenticeship program is not just training for an immediate job but to train for a career as a Laborer. LeConche explained that their outreach has resulted in a surge of new members from many underserved regions and minorities. With the funding for the apprenticeship program coming directly from the union members, LIUNA is producing loyal, well-trained members who are ready to handle all the needs of the job on the first day.

Not satisfied with the basic training program, LIUNA Advantage came together after receiving accreditation from ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and the IAS (International Accreditation Service). All instructors must maintain and earn certifications from an independent third-party certification group. Olivera-Rivera went on to discuss why these ongoing certifications benefit the Union and the trainers equally. The newly accredited program became LIUNA Advantage and has worked to ensure apprentices and ongoing training programs are set to a higher than industry standard. Through this program and LIUNA Learn, there has been an improvement in the number of women and minorities joining the apprenticeship program directly out of high school.

To hear more from LIUNA’s Training and Education Fund, please listen to the show above.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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