By TIM ROWDEN
The turnout for St. Louis Emerging Labor Leaders’ first Labor Fair wasn’t huge, but the message was clear: success isn’t always dressed in a suit and tie, sometimes it wears work boots.
About two dozen turned out for StELL’s Labor Fair July 30 at the Ferguson Community Center to meet apprenticeship instructors and representatives from local unions who can help set them on the path to entering an apprenticeship program and developing the qualifications they need to get into a program.
From those who turned out, the response was extremely positive, leading StELL President Gordon Smith Jr. (CWA 6300) to promise additional labor fairs in the future.
“It’s almost mandatory that we do this because of the positive responses that we got from the people who came in,” Smith said. “We want to open that up to even more people.”
For those looking for a successful career, Smith said “We’re telling them ‘You don’t necessarily have to wear a suit and tie to be successful in life.’ You can wear work boots and work gloves and still be successful. Somebody is going to be successful because of what we’re doing right here.”
Twenty-one unions and Labor organizations made donations or committed to having representatives on hand for the Labor fair. They included:
- American Postal Workers Union Local 8
- Bricklayers Local 1
- Cement Masons Local 527
- CWA Local 6300
- IAFF Local 2665
- IBEW Local 1
- Iron Workers Local 396
- Laborers Local 110
- Machinists Lodge 1345
- Machinists District 9
- Missouri AFL-CIO
- Missouri Women In Trades (MOWIT)
- Painters and Allied Trades District Council 58
- Roofers Local 2
- SEIU Local 1
- Sheet Metal Workers 36
- Louis Building & Construction Trades Council
- Louis CWA City Council
- Louis Labor Council
- Louis Police
- Unite Here Local 74
The A. Phillip Randolph Institute was also on hand to register voters.
For more information on St. Louis Emerging Labor Leaders, contact Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314-593-5513.