Duluth trades unions looking for workers

By KBJR News 1

August 6, 2014 Updated Aug 24, 2014 at 3:52 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- The trades industry has taken off in the Twin Ports, but with so many projects, companies are having a hard time finding workers.

It may seem like every time you turn around in the Twin Ports either a building is going up or coming down, which is why trades labor unions are coming up short-handed.

"Our benches are clear, we have all of our people working and we have calls every day for people for skilled trades men and women," said Craig Olson, President of the Duluth Building and Construction Trades Council.

Olson said the cause for all the openings is due to the number of people retiring and the lack of a properly trained work force.

Several Duluth organizations are partnering with union representatives to help bring the two together.

"I work with Community action 'Seeds of Success' program which is transitional employment and looking for our next step is why we are here. So when this job ends hopefully get hired by the unions," said Carl Carlson, who is looking for job in the trades industry.

Community leaders say these job opportunities are perfect for people who have been struggling to find full time work.

"These are really great opportunities for folks to jump into. Not only with the educational component right away but the career path that the unions and the representative help them move through apprenticeships and full time positions," said Chris Leblanc with Life House.

Olson said a provision of the 2014 bonding bill, which was passed by the Minnesota Legislature, is not only helping fund the construction projects but also helping provide them with workers.

"There's a requirement that females, and minority and diversity be employed on those jobs and so we are here to recruit those groups exactly,"said Olson.

The workshop was sponsored by the Employment Table, a collective group of a variety of community organizations.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.