January 2016

San Diego Ironworkers Invest in Building the Best

The completion of a new $7-milllion state-of-the-art training center in San Diego earlier this fall show­cases the Iron Workers’ commitment for investing in educational opportunities to create a reliable, skilled workforce for its partner contractors.

That’s especially important as the construction industry faces a shortage of skilled workers that by some estimates is as much as 2 million workers by 2017. These workers include ironworkers who are hitting retirement.

“We know what’s coming, so we’ve taken steps to prepare our men and women so our contractors can continue to count on us to get the job done right,” says Johnny Galvan, business manager/financial secretary-treasurer of Local 229 (San Diego). “The training center is essential to keeping our skills up and investing in a new generation of ironworkers.”

The plans for the training center began several years ago. In California, focused efforts to improve green energy, such as wind and solar, began taking shape. And construction in general began booming again. The ironworkers saw demand for skilled workers increasing and recognized the need to increase their current training center’s capacity. 

The Iron Workers found a large property on Beech Street, just off of California State Route 94, with room for expansion and easy access. Renovations and a building expansion began late in 2014. 

Now complete, the 14,000-square-foot training center at 3888 Beech Street features 26 state-of-the-art indoor welding stations, large classrooms, conference rooms and labs, a large structural-steel mock skeleton to practice installing iron parts, and a reinforcing steel station.

The new structural skeleton, for example, is now twice the size of the one it replaced, and it will provide the space for apprentices to practice skills assembling, erecting and installing fabricated iron parts to form the skeleton of a building.

“This is a dream come true,” says San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald, one of many San Diego area elected officials who attended a recent open house. She adds, because of the training center, “our city will benefit from a stronger middle class and a stronger economy for generations to come…This facility will make a lasting difference.”

She sees the training center as an excellent way to create good-paying jobs in San Diego. “We have so many talented young men and women looking for a craft, looking for a trade and a career that will span their lifetime.”

Emerald and fellow city Councilman Todd Gloria delivered a joint proclamation to Local 229’s Business Manager Johnny Galvan during the open house. Together the city councilors announced Oct. 27, 2015, as Iron Workers Local 229 Day, noting the longevity of the local and highlighting the excellent training provided to workers. 

“They build our cities, they build our hospitals. They build our roads and bridges; they keep them strong just like the people they serve. You folks make a huge lasting difference,” she told the audience.

Myrtle Cole, a fellow city councilwoman from District 4, says the opening of the training center couldn’t have come at a better time given all the construction in the area. But she’s most proud of the good pay and benefits offered to members of Local 229. “They’re making middle class wages and above. That’s a good thing. Let’s build our middle class.”

Toni G. Atkins, speaker of the Assembly, then took the podium to also provide support and recognition for the investment into workforce development, as well as efforts to recruit women into the trade.

“I know the value of these programs,” Atkins told the crowd. “My commitment is to help create jobs and make sure we have the policies and resources.”

She also noted the importance of partner contractors in workforce development and apprenticeship training. “We need to make sure these are union contractors getting the work — not AGC contractors from out of town whose apprenticeship programs too often fail to even graduate a single apprentice.”

Others in attendance included: California Sen. Ben Hueso from District 40, who took part in the beam cutting ceremony; California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, from District 80; and Oceanside Councilwoman Esther C. Sanchez. The event also attracted four area mayors: Kevin Faulconer of San Diego, Mary Salas of Chula Vista, Jim Wood of Oceanside and Ron Morrison of National City. 

“In a few cases, if an elected official couldn’t attend, staff was sent. That was the case with U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D.-Calif., state Sen. Marty Block and San Diego County Board of Supervisors Greg Cox and Ron Roberts,” commented Johnny Swanson, Local 229’s organizer who helped bring out so many elected officials to the open house. In all, about 250 people attended the open house, which included a beam cutting and welding demonstration.

The previous training center had been on the same property as the union hall, limiting the ability to expand. The new training facility, however, offers room to grow, says Galvan. The central location also makes it easier for its members to attend training classes.

The training center is outfitted with several pieces of essential equipment, including several cranes, a 100-ton press, a drill press, a rebar chopper, sanders and rigging equipment.

“Our investment in the new training center is a demonstration of our commitment to providing our contractors with the best trained, most productive and most safety-aware ironworkers possible,” says Galvan.

“We’re committed to being safe and getting projects done right,” he says. “Our training center makes that possible.”Written by Yvette Armendariz/Torres Consulting and Law Group

The completion of a new $7-milllion state-of-the-art training center in San Diego earlier this fall show­cases the Iron Workers’ commitment for investing in educational opportunities to create a reliable, skilled workforce for its partner contractors.

That’s especially important as the construction industry faces a shortage of skilled workers that by some estimates is as much as 2 million workers by 2017. These workers include ironworkers who are hitting retirement.

“We know what’s coming, so we’ve taken steps to prepare our men and women so our contractors can continue to count on us to get the job done right,” says Johnny Galvan, business manager/financial secretary-treasurer of Local 229 (San Diego). “The training center is essential to keeping our skills up and investing in a new generation of ironworkers.”

The plans for the training center began several years ago. In California, focused efforts to improve green energy, such as wind and solar, began taking shape. And construction in general began booming again. The ironworkers saw demand for skilled workers increasing and recognized the need to increase their current training center’s capacity. 

The Iron Workers found a large property on Beech Street, just off of California State Route 94, with room for expansion and easy access. Renovations and a building expansion began late in 2014. 

Now complete, the 14,000-square-foot training center at 3888 Beech Street features 26 state-of-the-art indoor welding stations, large classrooms, conference rooms and labs, a large structural-steel mock skeleton to practice installing iron parts, and a reinforcing steel station.

The new structural skeleton, for example, is now twice the size of the one it replaced, and it will provide the space for apprentices to practice skills assembling, erecting and installing fabricated iron parts to form the skeleton of a building.

“This is a dream come true,” says San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald, one of many San Diego area elected officials who attended a recent open house. She adds, because of the training center, “our city will benefit from a stronger middle class and a stronger economy for generations to come…This facility will make a lasting difference.”

She sees the training center as an excellent way to create good-paying jobs in San Diego. “We have so many talented young men and women looking for a craft, looking for a trade and a career that will span their lifetime.”

Emerald and fellow city Councilman Todd Gloria delivered a joint proclamation to Local 229’s Business Manager Johnny Galvan during the open house. Together the city councilors announced Oct. 27, 2015, as Iron Workers Local 229 Day, noting the longevity of the local and highlighting the excellent training provided to workers. 

“They build our cities, they build our hospitals. They build our roads and bridges; they keep them strong just like the people they serve. You folks make a huge lasting difference,” she told the audience.

Myrtle Cole, a fellow city councilwoman from District 4, says the opening of the training center couldn’t have come at a better time given all the construction in the area. But she’s most proud of the good pay and benefits offered to members of Local 229. “They’re making middle class wages and above. That’s a good thing. Let’s build our middle class.”

Toni G. Atkins, speaker of the Assembly, then took the podium to also provide support and recognition for the investment into workforce development, as well as efforts to recruit women into the trade.

“I know the value of these programs,” Atkins told the crowd. “My commitment is to help create jobs and make sure we have the policies and resources.”

She also noted the importance of partner contractors in workforce development and apprenticeship training. “We need to make sure these are union contractors getting the work — not AGC contractors from out of town whose apprenticeship programs too often fail to even graduate a single apprentice.”

Others in attendance included: California Sen. Ben Hueso from District 40, who took part in the beam cutting ceremony; California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, from District 80; and Oceanside Councilwoman Esther C. Sanchez. The event also attracted four area mayors: Kevin Faulconer of San Diego, Mary Salas of Chula Vista, Jim Wood of Oceanside and Ron Morrison of National City. 

“In a few cases, if an elected official couldn’t attend, staff was sent. That was the case with U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D.-Calif., state Sen. Marty Block and San Diego County Board of Supervisors Greg Cox and Ron Roberts,” commented Johnny Swanson, Local 229’s organizer who helped bring out so many elected officials to the open house. In all, about 250 people attended the open house, which included a beam cutting and welding demonstration.

The previous training center had been on the same property as the union hall, limiting the ability to expand. The new training facility, however, offers room to grow, says Galvan. The central location also makes it easier for its members to attend training classes.

The training center is outfitted with several pieces of essential equipment, including several cranes, a 100-ton press, a drill press, a rebar chopper, sanders and rigging equipment.

“Our investment in the new training center is a demonstration of our commitment to providing our contractors with the best trained, most productive and most safety-aware ironworkers possible,” says Galvan.

“We’re committed to being safe and getting projects done right,” he says. “Our training center makes that possible.”