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Culinary Academy Prepares Workers for Jobs on Las Vegas Strip

The Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, a partnership among the Culinary Workers Union/UNITE HERE Local 226, Bartenders Union/UNITE HERE Local 165 and 26 properties on the Las Vegas Strip, teaches students everything they need to know to get a position with good wages and benefits in the hospitality industry. The vocational classes, which range from two weeks to three months, kick off with a half-day class, which teaches students interview techniques and how to be gainfully employed on the Strip. In addition to training 35,000 workers since its inception in 1993, it also serves nearly 900 hot meals daily to disadvantaged youth, seniors and veterans in the surrounding neighborhood. This video highlights how students trained in this program will find promising careers.

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Firefighters Training in Action

Photo courtesy of the AFL-CIO Flickr stream.

On the evening of May 1, 2010, firefighters from Uniformed Fire Officers Association Local 854 in New York City got a call about a car fire in Times Square. Six minutes later, Lts. Mike Barvels and John Kazan arrived on the scene to find an SUV parked with one wheel on a curb, hazard lights blinking. The firefighters spotted a number of warning signs, most importantly the white, slow-moving smoke coming from the vehicle. They knew typical car fires involve dark, billowing smoke. Barvels and Kazan decided not to use their fire hose on the truck and instead called for experts to come investigate.

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Track Switch: TCU/IAM Job Corps Program Delivers Careers

Track Switch: TCU/IAM Job Corps Program Delivers Careers

In a tough economy, how does a kid from a rough-and-tumble neighborhood go about finding a good job that pays well or obtain the skills needed to become the worker employers want to hire?

One path is through the TCU/IAM Job Corps Program. In 1971, TCU/IAM partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor to provide advanced transportation training to young people looking for careers. Today, hundreds of students take part in the program each year and more than 8,400 young men and women have been placed in meaningful jobs in rail, mass transit and airline companies since its inception.

Check out the AFL-CIO's new website Innovators feature, Track Switch: TCU/IAM Job Corps Program Delivers Careers.

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Keeping it Clean—The Custodians of Dr. King’s Legacy

Keeping it Clean—The Custodians of Dr. King’s Legacy

On a bright, chilly Friday before the Martin Luther King Day weekend, Lapronda Eason wheeled a garbage can through the gleaming halls of the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

Eason has been a caretaker, literally, of American history for almost 13 years. She’s a janitor, a custodian, or a BSW, as the job is called at the Smithsonian, a building service worker.

The distinctive timbre of Dr. King’s voice could be heard in the museum’s gleaming entryway. It was his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which he gave in 1963 during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The speech recording is part of an exhibit called "Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963."

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Laborers Union Apprenticeship Program Trains a New Generation

Photo by Paul Burton

This article originally appeared in The Journeyman, the newspaper for the Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County (Calif.). It is written by Journeyman editor Paul Burton.

Like other Building Trades apprenticeships, the Laborers’ (LIUNA's) training program prepares men and women for careers in construction. The apprenticeship program at the Northern California Laborers Training Center in San Ramon is relatively new and has been providing training for new laborers for just 12 years. Apprenticeship coordinator Manny Carrillo said as the work that Laborers do has become more specialized and the workers need to learn more skills, the program is now mandatory.

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Cardinal Rule: Louisville's Building Trades Train Next Generation of Workers

Cardinal Rule: Louisville's Building Trades Train Next Generation of Workers

Check out the AFL-CIO's new In Our Communities website feature, "Cardinal Rule: Louisville's Building Trades Train Next Generation of Workers."

It only took a couple years of college for 26-year-old Muhammad Al-Bilali to realize that spending four years racking up thousands of dollars in student loans wasn't for him.

"More than anything, I was looking for a skill," says the Louisville, Ky., resident. "I wasn't getting that in college."

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Culinary Academy of Las Vegas Hits the Jackpot for Labor and Management

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker poses with Culinary Academy of Las Vegas students.

Arlene Holt Baker is the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO. 

In the gambling capital of the country, labor and management are putting their chips on one very safe bet: training for workers.

Yesterday, I had the unique opportunity to visit the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, a labor-management trust. The academy is the result of a collectively bargained labor-management partnership with UNITEHERE!'s Las Vegas Culinary Workers Union Local 226, Bartenders Union Local 165 and employers, including 26 major hotels and casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

The academy provides training for hourly workers, many of whom are immigrants, who want to enter the hotel industry. It also provides upgrade education and training for current union members looking to brush up their skills and have greater career mobility in the hospitality industry.

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Union Architects, Engineers Inspiring the Next Gen to Go Green

Union Architects, Engineers Inspiring the Next Gen to Go Green

Check out the AFL-CIO's new Innovators website feature, "Union Architects, Engineers Inspiring the Next Gen to Go Green."

When you’re 6 or 7 years old, the start of a new school year is a big deal. But for students at PS 264 in Brooklyn, N.Y., it’s even more special this year because they are walking into a newly built “green” school. And as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building, that means encountering the unexpected.

Like lights that go on automatically when you’re the first one to enter a classroom.

And a gym that’s on the top floor of the building.

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Community-Labor Partnerships 'TRADE-UP' to Create a Pipeline to Good Jobs in Atlanta

This is an excerpt from "Community-Labor Partnerships 'TRADE-UP' to Create a Pipeline to Good Jobs in Atlanta," by Deborah Scott, executive director, STAND-UP; founder, TRADE-UP. 

The Atlanta/North Georgia Building Trades Council and STAND-UP, a nonprofit "Think and Act Tank for working communities" have partnered to create Trade-Up, a pre-apprenticeship program. Trade-Up addresses a critical gap in the regional labor force. Despite the fact that unemployment in Atlanta building trades remains mired in double digits, the aging construction workforce is leading to shortages of workers in specific trades. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that through the remainder of this decade, employment openings will come mainly from the replacement of retiring workers on existing jobs, not from new jobs created by economic growth. Skills linked to apprenticeships and other forms of on-the-job training are expected to be among the fastest-growing categories of employment. Apprenticeships are an efficient way to address the paradoxical imbalance between increasing market demand for specialized trade skills in an environment otherwise plagued by high unemployment and declining labor force participation.

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