A group of contractor organizations that use union labor announced Monday that they’re starting an umbrella association aimed at fostering collaboration on industry issues.

HVAC construction groups the Mechanical Contractors Association of America and the Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, the International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, the National Electrical Contractors Association and the Association of Union Contractors have formed the Construction Employers of America to coordinate on labor and related subjects.

The associations picked the first National Apprenticeship Week to launch the endeavor.

“Construction contractors supporting the Construction Employers of America are leading the way, making major investments in America’s world-class workforce through top-quality training and apprenticeship programs,” said U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-N.J). “As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, I want to commend CEA members for supporting well-trained, highly-skilled, and well-paid construction workers who meet the quality standards their customers demand and deserve.” 

Union building trades contractors spent $1 billion each year on training, the association says, and pay $10 billion in wages and benefits.

Details on the new group are here.