Local building trades digging for new workers

Oct 13, 2015

For many of the local building trades unions, this is recruiting season as the locals open the application system for people interested in becoming apprentices in the trades.

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Both the Laborers and the Operating Engineers are taking applications now but it's a very short period, with the Laborers running to the end of this week and the Engineers next Monday through October 30.

"A lot of Operating Engineers have college degrees of some sort," said Engineers Administrative Manager James Smolinski.

"The Alfred program has a two-year heavy equipment program and we've had folks coming in here from Alfred who do very well because they have two years of basic stuff down. We've had people with engineering degrees, mechanical engineering, diesel mechanics, stuff like that."

Smolinski has an Alfred State degree in mechanical engineering.

Laborers Training Director Gary Kubik says the high pay when working can be an attraction but not everyone wants the tough work and getting dirty on the job. Admission to apprenticeship programs is based on a federally-mandated system to make it fair.