Industry and Labor Meet with Congressman Troy Carter to Discuss the Next Generation of American Workers & the Future of Manufacturing
Several years ago, an unlikely alliance was formed to create the Chemical Industry Labor-Management Committee (CILMC). The Committee is a partnership between the U.S. chemical industry and the 14 affiliated unions of North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) who came together to help promote innovation, manufacturing and workforce development.
Representatives from the CILMC recently met with Congressman Troy Carter (D-LA) to talk about how the group cooperates on strengthening manufacturing in the U.S. and workforce development – all key ingredients for achieving President Biden’s goals of rebuilding America’s infrastructure and growing the middle-class.
During the virtual meeting Joe Sellers, General President of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) Union, explained that the North America’s Building Trades Unions provide nearly $2 billion in labor-management funds to help support 1,900 training sites across America. He said these training facilities provide craft men and women with the skill sets and certifications necessary for apprenticeships, which will help put them on the path to the middle class – all without having to carry the burden of student debt.
ACC’s President and CEO, Chris Jahn, pointed out that the members of the CILMC understand the continued success of the chemical industry depends on the availability of a well-trained and highly skilled American workforce as well as a regulatory environment that promotes investment, innovation and growth.
Currently, more than 500,000 men and women work in the chemical industry at wages that are significantly higher than the manufacturing sector average. And with ongoing investments in new chemical production in the U.S. and pending retirements, thousands of new workers will be needed.
To help meet this demand, local training facilities across the country work hard to cultivate the next generation of skilled workers. James Parrish, Business Manager of the Sheet Metal Workers Local 214 described how their training facilities are open to everyone and provide a variety of free training and curriculum, which extends into high schools.
The CILMC partnership demonstrates that labor and management can find common ground when it comes to working with lawmakers to advance policies and programs that benefit all Americans.