Laborers lend a hand in rebuilding Joplin

We’re excited to share yet another story of union members giving back to their fellow community members. On May 22, a devastating tornado in Joplin, MO claimed the lives of over 100 residents and flattened large sections of the city. With construction workers sorely needed to rebuild they city, Laborers’ Local 319 is providing free job training to help get the city and its residents back on their feet.

The skills training is part of a wider initiative to rebuild Joplin, physically and economically. Construction workers will be in high demand in the coming months, and the Laborers are working to make sure those jobs go to members of the local community.

The three-week course will cover necessary construction skills, making it easier for interested residents to be hired. The course will also feature job safety instruction, which is required for state-funded projects. Upon completing the free program, students will be well-positioned to be part of the rebuilding effort.

As reported in The Joplin Globe, 80 people have already signed up for the course, a number that will surely rise in coming days. The job training program is modeled on similar courses that have been offered by the Laborers International in previous rebuilding zones. Said Stacey Simon, a spokesman for the Laborers:

This was used very successfully after Hurricane Katrina. Rebuilding a community is more than just brick and mortar; it’s building back lives and providing skilled workers who can contribute to the economy. It will open all kinds of employment opportunities as the rebuilding kicks in. It will give people the skills to do quality work, and we want that as Joplin rebuilds and for workers to make money and put money back in to the community.

The Laborers’ member oath includes a duty to “be true to my responsibilities as a citizen of the United States.” We can clearly see that commitment to the well-being of the entire community here. Now more than ever, Joplin needs both new buildings and good local jobs.

Of course, we can’t say that we’re surprised to learn that members of the Laborers are taking a lead to rebuild their community. As we’ve written in the past, union members throughout the country maintain a strong commitment to their communities. For these working women and men, having a voice on the job goes hand-in-hand with making the world around them a better place to live and work.

*photo courtesy of Laborers International

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This entry was posted on Monday, July 18th, 2011 at 12:25 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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