I recently had the opportunity to meet and talk with a diverse group of LIUNA training instructors from all over the country. They were undergoing training themselves at the West Virginia Laborers Training Center in Mineral Wells, WV. As I met with them, and as others shared some of their own experiences, I was reminded of how important safety and skills training are to the success of our local contractors.
Worker safety is at the core of our apprentice programs. From day one, whether on the job or at the Training Center, apprentices learn that they must be safe above all else. There is no task worth doing unless it can be done safely. Similarly, the apprentice learns from the beginning that in order to be safe and stay employed they must remain drug-free. The simple fact that LIUNA workers are trained in these areas and have high expectations placed on them by their employers and peers gives our local contractors an advantage over contractors that don’t employ and utilize the Construction Trades.
Another advantage that local contractors who employ LIUNA craftsmen have over the competition is the fact that their workers are thoroughly trained in about 350 different construction skills. A clear recipe for success as a contractor is to show up on the job with employees that are skilled in the task at hand, and ready to do what it takes to get the job done right the first time, in a safe and timely manner. If there is one thing that will ruin the success of a construction project every time, it would have to be workers that don’t have the proper training and experience.
So as one that represents local West Virginia contractors using LIUNA apprentices and journeymen as a formula for success, I feel fortunate that we have so many resources for professional training right at our fingertips.
Clinton Suggs, Executive Director
Parkersburg-Marietta Contractors Association