Union officials and South Jersey politicians joined forces on February 24 at the headquarters of the International Union
Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 5 in Bordentown, NJ to promote career opportunities available through apprenticeship programs.
Union officials who presented a tour of the BAC/ADC NJ facility included Richard Tolson, Director of BAC/ADC of New Jersey; Leon Jones, Jr., recording secretary and field representative for BAC/ADC; Robert Alesandro, apprentice coordinator for BAC/ADC; and Dan Siteman of the International Masonry Institute. Ren Englehardt, Apprentice Instructor, provided guests a tour of the BAC/ADC training complex.
Also in attendance were several South Jersey politicians, including Assemblyman Paul Moriarity (D, 4th District), Gloucester Township Mayor Dave Mayer, Camden City Councilman and former Assemblyman Angel Fuentes, Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D), and Camden County Freeholder Susan Angulo.
According to Robert Alesandro, approximately 120 apprentices currently are enrolled in New Jersey apprentice programs statewide. He also pointed out that the training provided in the bricklayers apprenticeship programs, generally carry a $25,000 to $30,000 value but are provided free to the apprentices.
And the Local 5 headquarters, home to approximately 2,000 members, provides a state of the art facility dedicated to training apprentices in the bricklayers trade.
“The training we provide is a tremendous value to applicants interested in the trades,” Alesandro noted to the local officials in attendance. “We are working hard throughout the state to make sure young people are aware of these opportunities.”
Alesandro stressed that apprentices get paid to learn a craft instead of incurring debt early in life. Depending on the programs they choose to enter, the apprenticeship programs generally last 4 to 5 years and can lead to excellent career paths.
Assemblyman Paul Moriarity, who spent approximately 4 years in the plumbing trades before returning to college during his youth, was appreciative of Friday’s tour. He listened intently to the message union officials were delivering before spending time speaking with several apprentices.
“I’m impressed with the program the Bricklayers Union offers here and with the apprentices who have committed to the trades,” he said. “We must impress upon our youth to take advantage of these tremendous programs. The young men and women who are already here are indeed impressive – you can see they are committed workers who want to learn a trade and support their families and communities.”
Union officials stressed to local politicians that they are spreading the message about opportunities in the trades and requested their support of the apprenticeship programs.
“We are spreading the word and getting out the message,” said Tolson, Director of BAC/ADC New Jersey. “There are some great opportunities here for young men and women. We also stay in touch with the changing techniques and technologies in construction today, and our facilities provide state of the art training for our apprentices, who will have excellent career paths once they complete the programs.”