Federal Mechanical Insulation Act will be reintroduced into Congress
Insulators International Staff — Wed, Dec 28, 2022 @ 13:12 PM
Pete Ielmini, Executive Director of the Mechanical Insulators Labor Management Cooperative Trust (LMCT), made his monthly appearance on America's Work Force Union Podcast to talk about H.B. 9419, the Federal Mechanical Insulation Act.
In late November, Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) introduced the legislation. However, with the Congressional term about to end, Ielmini expects Sánchez will need to reintroduce the bill next year in the new Congress.
During the Dec. 28 podcast, Ielmini told AWF host Ed "Flash" Ferenc he believes all the bill’s original co-sponsors will continue to support the legislation.
Once it is reintroduced and placed into a committee, the LMCT and its allies will have two years to rally behind the new bill, he noted.
Ielmini feels both political parties can find common ground on this legislation, which is simple and short, as it would require energy audits on federal buildings to evaluate the appropriate use of Mechanical Insulation to achieve energy efficiency goals.
Every construction or renovation project that receives government funding will be affected by this bill. It also requires the Mechanical Insulation to be installed by tradesmen and tradeswomen, who have completed a registered apprenticeship program.
Apprentices earn while they learn
He explained the earn while you learn apprenticeship model, which is used by the union building trades in the U.S. and Canada. Under the model, apprentices earn a good hourly wage, plus excellent benefits while working in the field and learning the craft from experienced journeymen. Additionally, they receive mandatory classroom instruction to help them learn the concepts and gain the knowledge needed to be successful in the industry.
Ielmini then discussed why the upcoming year is a great time to start a career as a Mechanical Insulator and highlighted additional benefits of this work.
Inspection for fireproofing and the U.S. government
Ielmini said he was astonished by the widespread lack of firestopping and firestopping inspection within the construction industry when he began to advocate for firestopping after the tragic fire in New York City in January 2022.
The LMCT is working with Marcia Fudge, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, to make firestopping and firestopping inspections mandatory in all HUD structures.
Listen to the podcast: