(PHILADELPHIA) December 17, 2020 – Today, Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson (At Large) joined local union representatives to announce the release of her first annual Apprenticeship Guidebook, which includes information about apprenticeship programs and how to apply.
Research has shown, unions are the cornerstone of the American middle class. Union participation is correlated with the percentage of the nation’s income going to the middle class. Family sustaining wages, comprehensive benefits, and access to training and career development are all ways unions support their members to ensure they have an economically secure future.
“It is important, now more than ever, that we think about how we are creating skills-based opportunities for work and expanding pathways to the middle class,” said Councilmember Gilmore Richardson. “As our city grapples with the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and our continued challenges with generational poverty, I saw an information gap that keeps people from applying to these programs. With more information, readily available and in one place, a wider range of Philadelphians can learn about the opportunities in the skilled trades and figure out what they need to be competitive.”
Councilmember Gilmore Richardson developed this guidebook with strong support from local unions, who have been active partners in her work to expand opportunities in the skilled trades.
“Thank you to Councilmember Gilmore Richardson for spearheading this important project,” said Patrick Eiding, President of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO. “Unions provide crucial protections to workers and create good-paying, family sustaining jobs. This guidebook will help us better communicate the diverse types of careers that are available through our apprenticeship programs.”
“Philadelphia remains one of the few cities in America with strong support for unions,” said Ryan N. Boyer, Business Manager for Laborers District Council of Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity and President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. “We need to grow awareness around apprenticeship programs so that more Philadelphians can see the benefits of debt-free, paid skilled training.”
“Apprenticeship programs benefit everyone,” said Wayne Miller, Business Manager of Sprinkler Fitters Local 692. “Workers earn more money and have access to supportive programs for training and development, businesses see a high return on investment, and our city’s workforce becomes more talented, improving our local economy.”
The 2021 Apprenticeship Guidebook is available at phlcouncil.com/katherinegilmorerichardson/apprenticeship. The guidebook will be updated yearly to include new information about requirements, pay, and application deadlines.