Plumbers union coming to rural Utah

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Written by: Sara Price

Roy Adams, Union Agent for Pipefitters, Plumbers – HVAC & R, has been working with local commissioners in an effort to bring the program to Carbon and Emery counties. Its goal is to recruit and employ young laborers and train them as pipe fitters, plumbers, and welders for the surging boom of industry happening in Utah. Adams stated that Utah has the third strongest economy in the United States with unemployment down more than four percent.

County commissioners are seeking ways to keep young skilled workers in the area and these employment opportunities may be just the ticket in making that happen. Industries are looking for trained employees. Those who complete the five-year program will be able to work anywhere in the state and can earn up to 20 percent above scale.

The five-year program includes all the schooling and in-person training needed to graduate fully certified in any of the chosen fields. While in school, those in the program will be hired as apprentices, earning money while learning a trade. Adams stated that the students in the program would be assessed for raises every six months, based on performance in school and on site. Those who do well would get paid. Generous benefit package are available, including two pensions and employment opportunities before and after certification.

The program’s only problem is finding enough students interested in working a trade. With the rising numbers of college graduates unable to find work, Adams hopes their union can interest rising college students to pick their route instead. Several applied technology campuses with facilities have been built within the last three years and are looking to join with USU-Eastern’s welding program, which would employ students and help take their careers to the next level. Adams hopes to reach out to high school students as well, opening up choices for those who haven’t decided what they want to do.

What will this mean for Carbon and Emery counties? The goal is more opportunity, employment, and the ability for young people to create a future right here.

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