Area contractors joined Kansas City business representatives at the training school for the Concrete Breakfast. Together with regional council staff, they discussed current industry issues like recruitment, retention and leadership development.Business Representative Mike Himes kicked things off by highlighting the various training and development opportunities offered to apprentices, journeymen and business managers at the Carpenters International Training Center in Las Vegas. In particular, he promoted the 3rd Year Apprentice program, the .300 Hitters Journeymen Leadership Program and Collaborative Leadership.
“The goal is to increase motivation. When people are motivated, they work harder and are more productive,” said Himes. Productive members can help lower the cost of a job by reducing the number of hours needed to complete it.
Retention is addressed through Local mentoring committees. Members of each committee call new members after they’ve been in the union for 1 month, 3 months and 5 months to check in and make sure everything is going well. This helps create community by providing new members the opportunity to get to know other members of the Local and ensures they have the chance to ask any questions they might have.
“The hardest part of joining is getting through that first layoff,” said Himes. “We make sure they know they’ve got someone to call.”
Additionally, attendees discussed ways to ensure union contractors are able to maintain and gain market share.
Pete Browne of Kissick Construction praised the superior training as a way union contractors stay competitive, in addition to their great pay and benefits. “All our team members can send their kids to college if they want, because it’s a good living wage.”