North Dakota’s Building Trades are comprised of several unions within the state, working to provide our customers with the safest, skilled workforce ready to help build a stronger North Dakota. We want to become known as the workforce of choice for both private and public work.
Together, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Laborers International Union of North America, International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, International Union of Elevator Constructors, Operative Plasterers' and Cement Masons' International Association, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry, International Brotherhood of Carpenters/Millwrights and International Union of Operating Engineers work together to promote the union construction industry.
Each one of our trades has top-notch training programs, which we view is stronger and more comprehensive than other construction companies offer their employees. The union construction industry is starting to grow again in North Dakota. Thousands of men and women take pride in being a member of a North Dakota Building Trades Union.
A solution for higher education – by Jason Ehlert, NDBTU President
For years, North Dakota’s higher education system has been a statewide concern. There have been numerous legislative discussions, a voter referendum to repeal it altogether and now Gov. Burgum’s task force. Key problems include poor graduation rates, significant college debt and educations that don’t meet business and industry needs. It’s time to look at an underutilized education model that’s been available for centuries – the joint apprenticeship.
It’s National Apprenticeship Week and I’m convinced the apprenticeship model can solve the growing education deficiency of career readiness. Members of the Building & Construction Trades have been using this model for decades. Contractors and the labor force come together to jointly manage an education system, combining on-the-job education with classroom instruction.
Instead of simply learning theories, our members apply real-world applications at construction sites. Union members learn by doing. Additionally, apprentices get paid for their education instead of paying. Instead of racking up thousands in debt, our member apprentices work for our contractors; earning and learning to become a journeyperson.
Additionally, by working with private industry, this education model adjusts in real time to address changing industry demands. We work with our contractors to learn exactly what is needed to get the job done. More importantly these joint-apprenticeship programs are privately funded. We don’t ask the taxpayers of North Dakota to pay, individual unions handle training.
If you have a family member exploring post-secondary education options, I encourage you to discover the possibilities of joint-apprenticeship for real-time, low-cost, career readiness education. There are fifteen Labor organizations in the State Building Trades covering all aspects of construction – foundation to finish - that all use apprenticeships.