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Pete Ielmini

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Pete Ielmini, Executive Director of the Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss potential labor shortages in the construction industry. Ielmini also discussed the Federal Mechanical Insulation Bill and the importance of programs like Helmets to Hardhats.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill has created an incredible amount of work for building trade unions. However, many unions are expecting manpower shortages in the years ahead. For non-union contractors the shortage could be worse. The main factor is the requirement that all large federal projects pay prevailing wage and be completed by employers with an accredited apprenticeship program, something most non-union employers don’t have or won’t support financially. Ielmini also discussed working with schools to promote entering apprenticeship programs instead of attending college as a possible option for more students.

Alternatively, there are programs available for people not in school, and one that Ielmini discussed is the Helmets to Hardhats program. The program was created to provide union opportunities for veterans as they transition back to civilian life. The program now provides leadership training to help these veterans become managers in the construction industry. Many veterans have shared that unions are the first time they’ve felt the same sense of brotherhood and belonging as they had in the military, providing a sense of self they need in their transition to civilian life.

The Federal Mechanical Insulation Bill is close to being introduced to the House floor. Ielmini discussed the work being done on both sides of the aisle to gain support before the bill's introduction. By keeping the bill simple, only two and a half pages, it’s been an easier process to get representatives to support it, he said. The next step would be a hearing in front of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee. If passed, the bill could produce as many as 100,000 new jobs in the mechanical insulation field.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.EYEMED000323_Savethe70sbanner_615x244

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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