For the first time ever, representatives from the West Virginia State Building and Construction Trades, West Virginia lawmakers, representatives from community and technical colleges, as well as members of state and local school boards met in Huntington at IBEW 317 to discuss potential partnerships in strengthening West Virginia’s workforce development.
The meeting was held on October 4, along with a tour of the IBEW 317 apprenticeship training facility, as part of an ongoing effort to educate state leaders about the benefits of apprenticeship.
Following the tour, a planning meeting was held to discuss multiple issues faced by the state, such as the need for labor on federally funded infrastructure projects, and how a partnership of everyone involved would ensure best outcomes.
Other items of discussion included associate degree opportunities for apprentices upon completion of their programs and ways to promote pre-apprenticeship opportunities to strengthen the skilled labor pipeline to the trades.
“This was the first time a group like this was assembled under one roof,” said Justin Williams, incoming Director of the Affiliated Construction Trades. “By bringing together our lawmakers, representatives from academia, and members of the trades, we can work together to tackle the much larger issues facing our state regarding workforce development and strengthen the skilled labor pipeline to the construction industry.”