ROCKVILLE, Md. - 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, Washington, 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 Mark Ayers, Building and Construction Trade Department, and Lonnie Coleman, Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) past president.

Speaking of ways to develop and broaden the national training effort, 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, 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, Coleman and MCAA staff met with DOL 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.

Publication date:07/18/2011