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LIUNA Offers Construction Training to Beleaguered Joplin, MO Residents

Joplin, MO residents who are still trying to recover from the May 22nd tornadoes that ravaged their community are getting some real help from the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). The union is offering a Recruit, Train, and Employ (RTE) program to local residents. The three week program teaches basic construction skills and safety and is required for any worker seeking employment on a state-funded project. In an interview with Joplin Globe writer Susan Redden, union spokesman Stacey Salmon said:

“They’ll learn about general construction, concrete, flagging and traffic control, CPR and first aid. It will open all kinds of employment opportunities as the rebuilding kicks in. It will give people the skills to do quality work, and we want that as Joplin rebuilds and for workers to make money and put money back in to the community.”

According to the Globe article, more than 80 people have already signed up for the course.

Salmon adds that ”the goal is to build Joplin back and to help people who have been displaced by the tornado to get jobs and start rebuilding their lives, and getting local people back to work will produce local paychecks and help the Joplin economy.”

After completion of the program the graduate is free to look for jobs and owes nothing to the union and is under no obligation to join. It is not recruitment capitalizing on the needy, it is simply a helping hand.

The program was modeled after one that was used in Louisiana post-Katrina. Salmon said of the program,

“This was used very successfully after Hurricane Katrina. Rebuilding a community is more than just brick and mortar; it’s building back lives and providing skilled workers who can contribute to the economy.”


2 Comments on “LIUNA Offers Construction Training to Beleaguered Joplin, MO Residents”

  1. Since MO is one of the seven US states that require OSHA 10 hour training for all construction workers on publically-funded construction projects, it would be very helpful if the union can make the OSHA training course part of the cirriculum. Can’t get the job without the OSHA card in MO.

  2. What a devastating scenario. I am sure it is a time of recovery and not thinking of doing things by the book. However, construction workers must be OSHA certified even in the worst of times before starting.

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