nmabc dinner 2 2022 New Mexico Associated Builders and Contractors Apprenticeship Graduation Banquet

WSJ 6/21/22 Commentary: Apprenticeships, Not Colleges, Can Help Reduce Unemployment

I attended the New Mexico Associated Builders and Contractors Apprenticeship Graduation Banquet on June tenth. Looking at the filled banquet hall that evening made me realize how far NMABC Apprenticeship programs have come since 1985 when just a handful of people were committed to apprenticeship training.  

Prior to the 1980s, the only building trade apprenticeship programs offered In New Mexico were by Big Labor Unions (BLU) which were funded by each of their members. By early 1980 a group of Albuquerque Contractors decided that they want a well-trained workforce independent of BLU. Those contractors, under the banner of NMABC and the Northern New Mexico Independent Electrical Contractors (NMIEC) started merit shop apprenticeship programs.

NMABC's first apprenticeship program was the sheet metal apprenticeship program. The second was the carpenter apprenticeship program. I was one of five individuals (Tom Novak of Klinger Constructors, Mark Shumate of Shumate Constructors, Fred Gornez of Gerald Martin Construction, Devon Fraser of PCL Construction, and Mick Rich of Mick Rich Contractors that were founding trustees of the NMABC carpenter apprenticeship program. The only challenging task was to develop an apprenticeship program and write a trust agreement. We incorrectly assumed obtaining the New Mexico Apprentice Council (NMAC) certification would not be a high hurdle to overcome, we were wrong.

We soon discovered the BLU-controlled NMAC was not going to certify the program and agreement without a fight. Over the next year they used a number of measures to stop our efforts. They reject the apprenticeship program and trust agreement multiple times, at times tabled all new business, and even rewrote new standards for new apprenticeship programs. We then re-wrote our program and agreement to meet the new standards, then a new round of rejections. They hoped we would go away.

The NMAC BLU leaders underestimated our resolve and they assumed only NMAC could certify the carpenter apprenticeship program. We had been in discussions with Ruben Dominguez, Division Leader of the Federal Department of Labor Apprenticeship Training during that year. He had been monitoring the NMAC actions and had reviewed our program and trust agreement. He informed us, to apply one more time and if the NMAC rejected the application, the DOL would certify the program and trust. NMAC rejected our application and the DOL certified the apprenticeship program and trust. We began training.

We understood the DOL later informed the NMAC that if the NMAC continued to discriminate against the non-BLU apprenticeship program the DOL would rescind NMAC's ability to certify apprenticeship programs and trusts. With that knowledge, we again submitted our application to NMAC, and it was approved. The five of us did not just open the door for future carpenter apprentices, we opened the door for other building trade apprenticeship programs throughout the state.

On June tenth there were thirty-seven apprenticeship graduates, announced there were over a hundred apprentices in six different apprenticeship programs and a new apprenticeship program was starting in the fall. NMABC apprenticeship programs have spread out from Albuquerque to across the state. They will begin a new electrical apprenticeship program in Las Cruces. Non-BLU leaders now have a seat at the table of the NMAC and the New Mexico Director of Apprenticeship Training attended the NMABC graduation.  

nmabc dinner sponsorRaffle Prizes for the NMABC Apprentice Graduates

NMABC members continue to be committed to; apprenticeship training, preparing the next generation of construction leaders and providing a hand-up to those that are ready to soarJack Miller (a friend and a recognized National Construction Leader) would say, "The only worse thing than training someone and they leave is you don't train them, and they stay". That is why our commitment to apprenticeship training has never wavered since 1985.

Only in New Mexico

While NMABC members financially support technical education AKA apprenticeship programs. Former House Speaker and Albuquerque Public School Coordinator of Career and Technical Education Sheryl Williams Stapleton was charged in Federal Court with stealing millions that should have gone to APS Students. Meanwhile, George Soros's DA Torrez is too busy figuring out how to prosecute all the speed camera violators to charge fellow democrat Sheryl Williams Stapleton.

Jay McClusky's Albuquerque City Council Members, Trudy Jones, and Brook Bassan are solving the homeless crisis in Albuquerque by placing homeless camps in your neighborhood. If you like what San Francisco has done to their neighborhoods, you going to love what Trudy and Brook are going to do to your neighborhood.

One San Francisco trend that has not made it to Albuquerque is the recall of George Soros's DA Boudin. Albuquerque Democrats are even trying to promote George Soros's DA, Raul Torrez to NM Attorney General.

Only in Washington
I was not surprised that Joe Biden fell off his Bicycle. I was surprised the Secret Service allowed him to get on a bicycle. It seems the Secret Service and the FBI will go to any lengths to protect the President from embarrassing situations. Such as dispatching SWAT Teams to retrieve Ashley Biden's lost diary from journalists. I have to agree, it is embarrassing.

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