ROCKVILLE, MD—Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) Past President Lonnie Coleman represented the organization at a Department of Labor (DOL) registered apprenticeship recognition program. “Out Educate/Out Build: Registered Apprenticeships Make It Happen” took place June 6 on the National Mall among a prominent display of joint apprenticeship training trailers from the United Association (UA) and other labor organizations.
The Honorable Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor, kicked off the program. She was followed by Building and Construction Trade Department President Mark Ayers and MCAA representative Coleman.
Addressing a large crowd of training industry professionals, government agency officials, and labor and management training trustees, President Coleman explained that, “these training trailers reflect all the best of our system, with skilled labor and business professional investing together in our national and local joint training programs to build the education infrastructure that only those on the front line in the industry can provide.”
Speaking of ways to develop and broaden the national training effort, President Coleman mentioned the UA’s Veterans in Piping program and Native American welder training programs, both developed by the joint MCAA/UA International Training Fund, and the Building Trades/employer association Helmets-to-Hardhats military recruitment program. Throughout his remarks, President Coleman emphasized that labor and management, together with government agencies, need to work collaboratively to find workforce development/outreach programs. These alternatives to prescriptive regulations will broaden workforce development efforts and combine market incentives to meet the steep workforce development challenges of the future.
After the ceremony, President Coleman and MCAA staff met with Labor Department officials and representatives from the DOL Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to discuss the pending project that will update the department’s regulations for federal contractor workforce affirmative action outreach goals for minorities and women under Executive Order 11246.
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