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Union Training for Joplin Rebuilding Effort

Laborer’s local 319 offers free construction training in Joplin.

The three week R.T.E. Program will give local residents basic construction and safety skill, and employment opportunities.

“They can expect some long days. They can expect to be accountable, be on time. Because we want to provide quality people for our contractors who are doing the work in the area.”  says Rick Anderson, Union Organizer/Trainer.

And this work is rebuilding Joplin and Duquesne.

The R.T.E. Program launched after Hurricane Katrina.

400 people from New Orleans completed the course and were put to work rebuilding their area.

Local 319 says it’s Joplin’s turn for success.

“We’ve been here for 70 years, and we’ve had an ongoing commitment to the community and we want to keep it up, and do something that’s going to help rebuild the community back right.” says Stacey Salmon, Marketing Rep. Rebuild Joplin.

“This could be an opportunity for somebody, not a hand out but a hand up.” says Salmon.


“Even though Walgreens is a national corporation, they chose to rebuild their site here on Rangeline using signatory contractors. In fact, 5 of their workers live here in Joplin.” says Salmon.

The other workers rebuilding Walgreens came from other parts of Missouri.

However, $0.35 goes toward union training programs for every hour they work.

“It was a rebuild quick process, so they weren’t able to recruit as we’re doing, but they were still helping to build back the local economy.” Says Anderson.

Worker who apply for the R.T.E. Training Program aren’t required to join the Union.

But Anderson says it would be a mistake not to join.

“Safer work conditions, benefits that most non-union contractors don’t even talk to you about. And we have a pension, 401 K.” says Anderson.

He also says Union workers can offer the highest quality of work because of safety and skill programs like R.T.E.


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