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May
2013
16

New LiUNA! Training Center Adds “15,000 Square Feet of Pure Opportunity” for Delaware, New Jersey

ROBERT CRAIG/THE NEWS JOURNAL

ROBERT CRAIG/THE NEWS JOURNAL


Delaware Governor Jack Markell was on hand when the Laborers International Union of America (LiUNA!) opened its new training facility in Newark earlier this week. The facility is the 78th to open nationwide and the first to open in the Blue Hen State.

The training center will help union members by providing free training and classes to keep pace with the ever-changing skills set needed for the modern construction worker. Gov. Markell noted the importance of such centers during the ceremony:

“The days of one employer, one career are over for most workers,” Markell said Monday. “It is not uncommon today for workers to hold 10 different jobs before the age of 45. Lifetime learning is no longer an aspiration. It is a necessity.”

The center will allow Delaware and New Jersey workers to become certified in several fields such as weatherization, environmental studies, blueprints, construction and other trades. Classes will be taught by the Construction Craft Laborers Training and Apprenticeship Fund of New Jersey and Delaware. The funding for the new center came from a partnership between the union and contractors, according to WDDE:

The 15,000 square foot facility features an 8,000 square foot training bay and will offer over 50 accreditation programs and skills training courses to train over 3,000 LiUNA members in Delaware and New Jersey.

The center cost $5 million to build, and Laborers Local 199 spokesman Rob Lewandowski says funding came from a partnership between the union and union contractors.

“So many people characterize unions as sort of having this adversarial relationship between contractors and employers or employees, but in fact, working together is paramount. And pooling our resources is paramount, and that is how we paid for this facility,” said Lewandowski.

Gov. Markell suggests that in building the facility the region will gain an economic advantage by guaranteeing its workers are on the cutting edge of their respective trades:

“We’re in a global war for jobs and what that really means is that we’re in a global war for talent because the jobs are going to go where the talent is,” said Markell. “Talent isn’t just born, talent is developed. So, this investment here in Newark, Delaware in training, in talent, in talent development is an investment in opportunity and jobs for all of us.”

Raymond M. Pocino, the LIUNA regional president, was on hand for the opening and was excited about the role the facility will play in the lives of young men and women:

“Many of you will look at this building and see bricks and mortar. I look at it and see 15,000-square-feet of pure opportunity. This is the place where men and women can come to get a head start on a new career or a fresh start when they desperately need one.”

A list of all courses and certification programs is available at www.trainliunanjde.org

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