Union sheet metal industry receives boost thanks to Raiders move

Sheet Metal Local No. 88 training director expects more than 100 workers to be involved in building stadium, practice facility, more

LAS VEGAS – Southern Nevada’s unionized sheet metal industry is getting a boost thanks to the NFL owners’ March 27 approval of the Raiders’ plan to move to Las Vegas. In addition to the new stadium the team will require, a new practice facility and changes to city infrastructure are in the works as well.

Jeff Proffitt, training director for Sheet Metal Local No. 88 (@88training), a local sheet metal workers’ union training center, predicts that up to 100 sheet metal workers could be employed by the project. HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) — 40 to 50 workers, TAB (testing, adjusting and balancing) — 10 to 15 workers, detailing — 5 to 10 workers, and architectural work — 30 to 40 workers — for the projects. Detailers will likely start working on the project within the next three to four months, and the rest will start within six months. Proffitt expects the project to be all-union.

This is good news for an industry that never fully recovered locally after the Great Recession.

“Things will be really hopping the next 12 months,” Proffitt said. “This is a big boost for the local sheet metal industry, the skilled construction trades in general, and our community.”

Sheet Metal Local No. 88 has been running a “skeleton” apprenticeship program, taking on approximately 20 to 25 apprentices each year. The new stadium and other large projects will allow the program to bring on more apprentices. The joint apprenticeship training committee (JATC) will also provide training for journeypersons who have been out of work or working sporadically for the past four to five years, allowing them to brush up on their skills and obtain their OSHA cards again.

Sheet Metal Local No. 88 provides for its students some of the most advanced and innovative instructional technology in the state. As another form of higher education, the apprenticeship program provides rigorous classroom and on-the-job training for students with an aptitude for math, spatial relationships and computer skills. Candidates who are accepted into the program receive full scholarships and graduate with no tuition debt.

In addition, the starting wage students receive while in school — $19.27 an hour, plus benefits — is another good incentive to join.

Students are selected for the four-year program through a careful application process, which includes math and reading comprehension tests and interviews.

Upon graduation, the new journeymen’s wages can more than double, with their earnings typically jumping to $42.82 per hour, including benefits and the opportunity for additional salary increases.

As well as training students, Sheet Metal Local No. 88 Training Center is home to the International Training Institute (iTi) that trains sheet metal instructors from around the country.

The Sheet Metal Local No. 88 Training Center is one of 153 similar facilities throughout the United States and Canada. Training materials are provided by the International Training Institute for the sheet metal, air conditioning and welding industry.

Those interested in applying to become a sheet metal apprentice should contact Sheet Metal Local No. 88 JATC at 88training.org or call 702-632-3014.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *