SOURCE: Industrial Info Resources

November 20, 2008 06:01 ET

Union Ironworkers Provide Contractors With Well-Trained Work Force in Pennsylvania's $26.8 Billion Industrial Construction Market, a Feature of "Industry Today" on Industrialinfo.com

PITTSBURGH, PA--(Marketwire - November 20, 2008) - Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- Throughout the Keystone State, Union Ironworkers are working hard to train reliable and available men and women in the growing Pennsylvania industrial construction market to provide construction contractors a well-trained work force. More than 400 industrial projects totaling nearly $26.8 billion are planned to begin as contractors prepare for a profound workload. Along with a current list of industrial construction projects totaling more than $7 billion, the ability to deliver a qualified and reliable work force to the job site has never been more important.

The union's apprenticeship training program is second to none with 175 training facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Pennsylvania is home to eight training facilities: Clearfield, Harrisburg, two in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, Easton and Scranton. In each facility, apprentices are taught the most up-to-date safety techniques through certified OSHA safety training. Additionally, apprentices learn techniques that focus on welding, tying rebar, rigging, structural steel erection and ornamental ironworking. As a result of this training, Locals can supply qualified ironworkers to contractors for specific projects and ensures productivity through an industry-standard drug-testing program.

A productive work force will be required, as half of the project-spending activity in Pennsylvania will be in the Power Industry, which is planning 128 major projects totaling more than $13 billion. The Metals & Minerals Industry is the second largest with 70 projects totaling $3.4 billion.

Union Ironworkers are currently involved in a number of major industrial projects in western Pennsylvania. Approximately 64 Ironworkers are involved with a $200 million sulfur-dioxide emissions-reduction project under construction for owner Reliant Energy Mid-Atlantic Power Holdings LLC (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania) and E&C firm Shaw Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation (Englewood, Colorado) at the Keystone Power Station in Shelocta, Pennsylvania. At U.S. Steel's (NYSE:X) (Pittsburgh) Edgar Thompson steel mill in Braddock, Pennsylvania, about 100 union ironworkers are involved with an extended two-week maintenance shutdown. Work will include a rebuild of a ladle turret and bearing replacement. Both of these projects are being sourced by Ironworkers Union Local No. 3 in Pittsburgh.

According to a recent Industrial Info Labor Demand Analysis, the number of required Ironworker journeymen for industrial construction in Western Pennsylvania in 2009 is forecast to exceed 2,800. "We have reviewed and improved our programs within our training facilities as well as restructured the program to accommodate the needs of our signatory contractors so that the many projects that are currently under construction will be completed safely and on time. We believe that this positions our Local in a way that benefits both the contractors and our members," said Mark Thomas, business manager and financial secretary/treasurer for Ironworkers Union Local No. 3.

Local No. 3 covers the Pittsburgh, Erie and Clearfield areas where approximately 65% (about $17.3 billion) of the industrial construction work in Pennsylvania is planned. Local No. 3 has 1,450 journeyman ironworkers in its ranks. "The Ironworkers Union is strategically positioned not only to train apprentice ironworkers but, by teaming with construction contractors, can provide industrial market intelligence and access to projects through our partnership with Industrial Info with the goal of reducing contractor cost and improving project return on investment by reducing labor costs," Thomas said.

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