November 18, 2015
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 577 in Portsmouth, Ohio will receive $163,000 to expand welder training, in a grant announced Nov. 13.
Most of the money will come from the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal-state partnership established in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s “war on poverty” to improve the economy of Appalachia, the often-impoverished mountain region that stretches from the hills of northeast Mississippi to New York State’s Southern Tier. “We’re going to use this to jumpstart our accelerated welder training,” said Local 577 Business Agent Bobby Cole. “We’ve run this training for about five years. At this point with our own money, we’ve trained about 25 guys and they are making an average income of about $78,000 a year. If you do the math, that’s putting about $2 million dollars into the local economy.” Read more