PRIDE is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It is the nation’s first and oldest voluntary construction labor-management organization, uniting labor, management and the buyers of construction services to advance economic development.
PRIDE works to build cooperation among key players in the St. Louis building industry by promoting construction productivity, cost-effective construction, safe and drug-free job sites and workforce training and development.
At a recent PRIDE Construction Awards Luncheon, PRIDE Executive Director Jim LaMantia reviewed PRIDE’s accomplishments, ticking off union construction projects and investments in the St. Louis region, including the construction of union training facilities and headquarters.
Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 cut the ribbon on its $20 million, 96,023-square-foot headquarters and training facility on Chouteau Avenue in St. Louis in April.
Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562, broke ground on a new $12 million traiing facility at the local’s complex in North County in June.
Painters District Council 2 recently opened a new $3.5 million, 75,000-square-foot training in Chesterfield, tripling the school’s previous space and combining classes once spread among five buildings in St. Louis
“In the span of 16 months, labor and management will have invested more than $35 million in new training facilities to serve our hometown’s building needs, and all of it at no expense to the taxpayer,” LaMantia said. “It is truly a tremendous gift to the community.”
Labor and management with other trades are also stepping up to the plate to advance their training programs, LaMantia said.
IBEW/NECA, through its Electrical Connection partnership, is upgrading skills in renewable energy, including helping develop a national training program for the installation of safe and reliable electric vehicle charging stations, and
Operating Engineers 513 and their building partners are instilling new safety regulations in crane operators and riggers.
Labor and management are also uniting to invest in our region in other ways.
Earlier this year, at the PRIDE investment summit, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust announced it is providing $6.6 million on union pension capital to carry out a major rehabilitation of the Holy Infant and St. Joseph apartments, two developments for low-income seniors in Shrewsbury. Work on the $13 million project is expected to generate 75 union construction jobs.
The AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust is making another significant investment in our region with the Highlands 276-unit Cortona at Forest Park Residential Development. The investment in this project is $42 million, LaMantia said.
“Collectively, our efforts to reinvest in our community have helped launch more than $650 million in projects,” LaMantia said. “You cannot do that without labor and management working together.”
Encouraging further investment both in St. Louis and throughout the country, representatives of the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust (BIT) and the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) spoke with union leaders at the AFL-CIO’s biennial convention in Kansas City last week about investing union pension funds in housing and commercial construction projects, using union construction workers and employing union workers in commercial developments.
More information on the BIT can be found online at www.aflcio-bit.com
More information on the HIT can be found at www.alfcio-hit.com
Find out more about PRIDE at www.prideconstruction.org.