Ground-breaking agreement to train local residents for good energy jobs
LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – has entered into a second ground-breaking agreement with the Virginia Community College System to train local residents for family-supporting jobs building the clean natural gas industry.
The new agreement aims to put residents to work on the Mountain Valley energy project, which will distribute natural gas through pipelines from West Virginia to Virginia. As many as 2,400 skilled workers will be needed in Virginia alone for the project. Work is expected to begin this year and continue for about 18 months.
“This is a win-win for workers, their families and southwest Virginia,” said Dennis Martire, Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager of LIUNA. “Local residents will have the opportunity to learn skills leading to good construction careers and the region will benefit both economically and environmentally from the benefits of clean natural gas.”
In January, the union and college system announced a partnership to train local residents for similar jobs building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline energy project.
Under the agreement between the union and the college system, at least a fourth of workers hired will be in the vicinity of the project, which spans from the West Virginia border through southwest Virginia.
The community college system will help identify potential workers and through a joint venture with LiUNA, will assist in training them. The project will be built by union contractors who have committed to a $20 hourly wage, a $45 per day per diem, and free family health care.
Workers assigned to the project will be existing members of LIUNA Local 980, based in Roanoke, as well as new hires identified through the college system’s schools in the counties of Giles, Craig, Roanoke, Montgomery Franklin and Pittsylvania. Major areas are Radford, Blacksburg, Christianburg, Rocky Mount, Roanoke, Salem and Danville.
LIUNA’s Mid-Atlantic Region includes more than 40,000 workers predominantly in the construction industry in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, Virginia and North Carolina.