On Tuesday, January 27, 2015, Mayor Francis Slay joined leaders of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) and Demetrious Johnson of the Demetrious Johnson/Eddie Mae Binion Workforce Center in St. Louis to celebrate the launch of a 14-week course that will train local minority candidates for a successful career in construction. The goal of the partnership is to create a pool of well-trained and motivated candidates for the workforce.
IUPAT District Council 58 will teach craft skills and soft skills to 17 young men and women selected for the training. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive assistance in job placement with local union and non-union contractors.
“I call it creating ‘industrial athletes,’ because an athlete must be disciplined and committed to putting in the hard work,” Johnson said. “The same can be said of a good employee.”
“This initiative creates a pathway to a successful career and merges the gap between people who want to work and those who need skilled workers,” Mayor Slay said. “It builds our minority workforce while setting our young residents in a positive direction to be able to provide for themselves and their families.”
The IUPAT is undertaking joint efforts such as this initiative throughout North America as a part of its Community Organizing for Real Economics program, or CORE. This program creates partnerships between the IUPAT and local community groups for the benefit of the communities in which we all live and work.