(PHILADELPHIA) January 19, 2022 – Today, Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson (At Large) joined local union representatives to announce the release of her second annual Apprenticeship Guidebook, which includes pertinent information about apprenticeship programs and how to apply.
Research has shown, unions are a pillar of the American middle class. By setting the standards for education, competitive pay, comprehensive benefits, and quality of life for workers, union participation has been linked with the percentage of the nation’s income going to the middle class. By supporting their members, they allow access to family-sustaining careers and economically secure futures.
“We have to reflect on if we are truly creating accessibility to skill-based opportunities for working individuals in Philadelphia”, said Councilmember Gilmore Richardson. “As our city grapples with both the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent rise in high positivity rates in the city, we are still fighting the challenges of generational poverty. With the information gap that has kept people from applying to these programs, I knew that my guidebook was something pertinent that had to continue. With better access to this information, a more diverse range of Philadelphians can learn about the backbones of the middle class which are unions and skilled trades”.
Councilmember Gilmore Richardson developed the second annual apprenticeship guidebook with strong support from Philadelphia’s local unions who have been active partners and supporters in her work to expand access to opportunities in skilled trades.
“We are so grateful to Councilmember Gilmore Richardson for recognizing the importance of skilled trades and compiling this resource,” said Patrick Eiding, President of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO. “Apprenticeship programs open the door to all of these opportunities and provide you with the training you need to succeed. This is why we need to grow more awareness of our programs, so Philadelphians aware of these benefits”.
“I and my union understand the importance working with leaders in our community in recruiting more women who are interested in construction,” said Layla Bibi, The Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters. “We must also provide them with the professional training and tools necessary to take the next step and gain a safe and successful career.”
“I have seen firsthand how the trades have created economic opportunities for a wide range of communities,” said Ryan N. Boyer, Business Manager for Laborers District Council of Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia, and Vicinity. “A career in the trades provides stable and fulfilling work, a living wage, comprehensive benefits and retirement options and Philadelphia remains one of the few cities in America that still has that strong union support”.
“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 2022 Apprenticeship Guidebook is available at: bit.ly/3qCeABs. The guidebook will be updated yearly to include new information about requirements, pay, and application deadlines.