The State of New Jersey is looking to provide more opportunities for the next generation of construction workers. There have been steps taken to prioritize the use of apprenticeship programs for public work jobs in the state to do this.
Unions have demonstrated over the last century that the instructing and molding of carpenters have been extremely beneficial for not only their future but for the future success of union-built projects. Taking the time to ensure these carpenters understand the best practices, methods, and safety regulations are crucial when developing apprentices. The New Jersey Public Works Contractor Registration Act instills this same motive, requiring updated training and apprenticeship guidelines for all publicly-funded projects across the state.
“Construction has come a long way; The field is now safer, smarter, more productive, and more time-efficient,” Local 254 member Danny Winkler stated gratefully. Winkler continued, “I have seen a change in the approach to training and educating apprentices in both the classroom and the job site. The requirements at the Edison Carpenters Training Facility have become more rigid. It is harder to become an apprentice now because you have to prove that you can not only do the job but also perform the tasks and challenges presented to you.”
Publicly-funded projects like the American Dream and the Newark Airport renovations are roughly $2 billion projects each. Projects of these sizes provide work and training opportunities for contractors and construction workers alike. Labor Management has worked cohesively in this process as they swayed the state into prioritizing Apprenticeships and training requirements for these massive projects.
“I have worked as an apprentice for Sloan & Company for almost two and a half years. I have been able to see firsthand how the approach to training apprentices has improved. Every opportunity is a learning opportunity and has allowed me to learn new skills and expand my knowledge of modern construction,” Winkler further explained.
“Construction is a very, very old business. From the days of the Pyramids, and Greek temples, to the creation of the Panama canal, advances in the building have come from gains inefficiency. Efficiency in the use of materials, faster processes, and an increase of skill,” stated Local 254 Council Rep Jason Friedman, “To meet the challenges of the future, the next generation of carpenters will need to embrace a higher level of training and education.”
In New Jersey, taxpayers want more than anything to see their hard-earned money supporting companies like Sloan & Company who help improve infrastructure and public transportation. These taxpayers wish to the best-trained workers in New Jersey to gain firsthand experience on these projects and apprentices. “In a world where technical sophistication and know-how are in demand, the next generation of construction workers must be highly skilled and nimble in their use of advanced technology,” said Friedman.
With this law being in effect for over a year, more and more union signatory contractors are bidding and working on public projects. The State of New Jersey is prioritizing training requirements for some of the largest projects and ultimately investing in our economy. The impact will have significant effects on the next generation of construction workers and the state overall.
Friedman states, “The pace of change, the pace of technological transformation, the increasing demand for safer, smarter job sites, and projects that are completed in a shorter time frame with less waste all point to a need for a technically sophisticated and nimble workforce. The only way to meet that reality is through training. The next generation of Carpenters will have it in abundance.”
Job sites and massive projects like Newark Airport and American Dream require the best trained and skilled workforce. The Carpenters provide the necessities that every project needs to flourish, and the state of NJ and recognize this.