Building Trades, Features, National

Laborers Break Ground on Philadelphia Training Center

December 25, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.—Philadelphia’s Laborers District Council broke ground for a three-story, 66,000-square-foot building that will house its new training center earlier this month on Dec. 6.

Laborers are investing even more in top flight training.

The center, by Temple University’s soccer field in North Philadelphia, will be operated in partnership with the independent state university. The Laborers, the only majority-black building-trades union in the city, will be moving its training operations into the predominantly Afro-American neighborhood from the suburb of Exton, more than an hour away. “With the school right here in the city, it will be easier for our members to attend the classes and obtain much-needed training for future jobs in the construction industry,” Laborers Local 332 said. The center’s classes will include OSHA 10 & 30 safety certifications, asbestos removal, cut and burn, scaffold building, mason tending, air and power tools, and lead abatement. “We need this more than we need fresh air,” Patrick Eiding, president of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, said in a statement released by Temple. The building will be named for Local 332 business manager Samuel Staten Jr., son of the union’s late longtime leader, Samuel Staten Sr., and grandson of Philadelphia Laborers cofounder Shedrick Staten.

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December 25, 2018

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