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  • admin
  • 19 June 2013

June 19, 2013

Thousands of Highly Skilled MI Carpenters Looking for Work, Dispute Misleading Reports of ‘Shortage’

Thousands of Highly Skilled MI Carpenters Looking for Work, Dispute Misleading Reports of ‘Shortage’

DETROIT – Thousands of highly skilled Michigan carpenters who are trained to work on any construction project are currently out of work and looking for jobs today – a fact that refutes claims in recent media reports of a so-called shortage of skilled tradespeople in Michigan.

“Right now, thousands of Michigan carpenters are ready to get to work and meet the growing demand for skilled workers – and we urge contractors to hire these carpenters, who are the best trained in the industry,” said Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mike Jackson today. “Our carpenters pay for the best training in the world out of their own pockets. These are men and women who are professionals and who can get the job done right, on budget and on time, and they’re ready to help the building and construction industry grow in Michigan.”

The MRCC, which represents 14,000 members, sent a letter to Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Legislature refuting media reports about a shortage of skilled workers capable of meeting growing demands in a recovering building sector. The MRCC also invited Gov. Snyder and the Legislature to support efforts to put Michigan carpenters back to work.

The MRCC letter read: “Many carpenters in our Council are ready to show up at any job site anywhere in Michigan, get to work right now and help rebuild Michigan’s economy. The problem may be less about worker shortages, and more about whether some companies are willing to pay a fair wage for highly skilled, fully certified carpenters capable of doing any job, producing superior products and saving costs for businesses and customers.

“We invite those in the construction sector who say they can’t find quality, qualified carpenters to look no further than the carpenters who go through privately funded apprenticeship programs, jointly managed by the MRCC and our many private sector contractor partners.”

The letter went on to read: “Every year, we graduate more and more skilled apprentices who join the ranks of carpenters looking for work. We have the capacity to graduate even more carpenters, but either the work simply isn’t out there or, if news reports are to be believed, some companies won’t pay fair wages for skilled workers.

By hiring these professional skilled carpenters, we can resolve the alleged worker shortage, help meet consumer demand and get people back to work in good-paying local jobs.”

Below is the full letter, delivered June 12.

To the Hon. Gov. Snyder and members of the Michigan Legislature:

We wish to let you know that the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights and our 14,000 members are concerned about misleading news reports falsely claiming that Michigan has a shortage of skilled, trained carpenters. This is NOT true.

As an organization whose members go from site to site looking for work only to be turned down more often than not – our story of the past decade – the MRCC is extremely concerned about these misleading reports.

Many carpenters in our Council are ready to show up at any job site anywhere in Michigan, get to work right now and help rebuild Michigan’s economy. The problem may be less about worker shortages, and more about whether some companies are willing to pay a fair wage for highly skilled, fully certified carpenters capable of doing any job, producing superior products and saving costs for businesses and customers.

We invite those in the construction sector who say they can’t find quality, qualified carpenters to look no further than the carpenters who go through privately funded apprenticeship programs, jointly managed by the MRCC and our many private sector contractor partners.

These rigorous four-year apprenticeships produce the best-trained carpenters around, skilled in the latest tools, techniques and safety methods.

Our carpenters are trained to get the job done right, on budget and on time. They are drug tested and highly committed to safety. For these men and women, being a carpenter is a profession they are proud to do their entire lives and pass down from one generation to the next. It is a career that helped build Michigan’s middle class and one that deserves our fullest and continued support.

We also wish to emphasize that carpenters pay for their training out of their own money, NOT taxpayer dollars. As you may recall, the State of Michigan has twice before tried to use tax dollars to train people in skilled trades work, and these schemes resulted in failure. We urge you not to replicate this failed experiment that wasted scarce taxpayer dollars. Carpenters strongly believe that government and special interests shouldn’t ask taxpayers to subsidize their training.

Every year, we graduate more and more skilled apprentices who join the ranks of carpenters looking for work. We have the capacity to graduate even more carpenters, but either the work simply isn’t out there or, if news reports are to be believed, some companies won’t pay fair wages for skilled workers.

By hiring these professional skilled carpenters, we can resolve the alleged worker shortage, help meet consumer demand and get people back to work in good-paying local jobs.

We encourage you to join us in promoting the world-class training our carpenters receive through privately-funded apprenticeships and help connect them with businesses in need of workers.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Mike Jackson

Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights

June 12, 2013

 

CC. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer

Speaker of the House Jase Bolger

House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel

Members of the Michigan Legislature