The Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA) of New York and Steamfitters Local 638’s five-year apprentice training program has been recognized for its role in New York City’s workforce development and for its efforts in environmental sustainability.
The five-year apprentice program links classroom and workplace training, where apprentices learn the trade of steamfitting to design, install and maintain critical building operating systems.
This includes fire sprinklers, refrigeration, steam and water piping, heating and cooling systems for tens-of-thousands of high-occupancy commercial, retail, residential and industrial buildings in New York, including hospitals, universities and power plants.
The award was presented at the second annual City & State Real Estate, Housing & Construction Awards in Corporate Social Responsibility at New York Law School last week.
The event recognizes leaders in the New York real estate community making a positive impact on their environment, employees, stakeholders and communities.
The award noted the MCA and Local 638’s shared commitment to developing a highly-skilled union workforce that is enhancing energy-efficiency in thousands of New York’s largest residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
“We’re proud of our commitment to providing extensive safety training and the finest workplace skills to our members, connecting them with quality middle-class careers that offer good wages, quality healthcare and pension protections,” said Thomas Goodwin, Steamfitters Local 638 Director of Education, who accepted the award.
The award also recognized the program’s important role in making New York City buildings greener and more energy-efficient.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s OneNYC plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York City by 80 percent by 2050. Nearly three-quarters of all citywide emissions come from the city’s aging buildings inventory.
“Steamfitters build and maintain the iconic New York City skyline and the operating systems that allow those buildings to function efficiently. As both the mayor and governor have laid out their vision to reduce New York’s carbon footprint, it is union Steamfitters leading the modernization of older buildings and constructing new projects that operate more efficiently and are more environmentally friendly,” said Patrick Dolan, Steamfitters Local 638 President.
Through this educational program the MCA and Local 638 make a significant economic investment by underwriting their apprentices’ education. The program recruits significantly from Helmets to Hardhats, which connects U.S. Military veterans with building and construction careers, easing their transition into civilian life. About 10 percent of Local 638’s current apprentices entered via Helmets to Hardhats.
It also participates in the Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills, offering inner-city youth a pathway to middle-class construction careers. Eighty-nine percent of Construction Skills participants are minorities and come from diverse communities throughout the five boroughs.
“In an era when families sending their children to college expend an average of $170,000 on a four-year private university education, the MCA and Local 638 make a significant annual investment that has resulted in opening doors and building careers for current and future generations of union steamfitters and mechanical contracting professionals. The highly respected apprentice program provides them the skills they need to succeed,” said Anthony Saporito, Executive Vice President of Mechanical Contractors
Association of New York, Inc.
“Every major building that comprises the city skyline and provides housing or a place of business for millions of New Yorkers relies on the skills, training and know-how of a steamfitter. The recognition and honor that this award offers is tremendously gratifying as we work towards making the buildings in our city more resilient and energy efficient,” said Robert Bartels Jr., Business Agent At Large of Steamfitters Local 638.