Tell the Department of Labor you support the construction industry’s exclusion from IRAPs

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

The Department of Labor has introduced draft language for regulations on expanding apprenticeships, including expanding Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs).

IRAPs are a direct threat to our Registered Insulators Union Apprenticeship program and to the entire construction industry.

Currently, the regulation has an exclusion for the construction industry, but during a 60-day comment period, we must tell the Department of Labor construction apprenticeships needs to remain excluded.

There is a building trades-wide campaign to tell the DOL construction industry apprenticeship programs need to continue to have oversight in order to maintain our excellent wages and benefits, dedication to safety and industry-leading training.

We need you, your family and friends to tell the DOL that government oversight is important to the registered construction industry apprenticeship programs and this oversight must remain.

Click here to visit our Insulators Union page and tell the Department of Labor you support the construction industry’s exclusion from IRAPs.

As many of you know, any changes to remove the oversight of our registered apprenticeship programs will put our industry in jeopardy. If you want to take further action with the Department of Labor, we encourage you to write personal letters.

Written comments can be mailed to:

  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • Office of Policy Development and Research
  • Attn: Administrator Adele Gagliardi
  • 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Room N-5641
  • Washington, DC 20210

In your personal letters, you may use examples of the following statements on the topics that affect us:

  • Wages and Benefits

    The education I received through the Heat and Frost Insulators Union Registered Apprenticeship Program changed my life. Since my first day as a registered apprentice, I have been able to support my family and secure my future thanks to the union’s excellent wage and benefits package.

    In my area, there are few good paying jobs that do not require a college degree. Especially ones that come with the industry’s best training and education, in addition to great wages and benefits. In my trade, like many other union construction trades, quality training makes a difference. If contractors and project owners hire a poorly trained construction workforce, it creates an unsafe workplace, putting everyone’s lives in jeopardy. If those same poorly trained workers are paid less, it undermines the competitive bidding process, reducing my ability to support my family.

    Simply put, Insulators who complete the Union’s Registered Apprenticeship Program earn a livable wage and benefits because they are providing quality workmanship that allows projects to be completed on time and on or under budget. I strongly support keeping IRAPs out of the construction industry permanently.

  • Safety

    Construction jobs can be dangerous, but my Insulators Union Registered Apprenticeship Program provides me and my co-workers with industry leading training to ensure my safety and the safety of those around me on the jobsite.

    Through regular, mandatory safety classes, Insulator journeymen and apprentices who are members of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, make up the safest mechanical insulation workforce in the United States. If poorly trained construction workers are allowed on the jobsite, there is a greater likelihood an accident or death will occur. This does not even begin to address, possibly long-term health issues if this under-trained workforce improperly handles the various materials common to the mechanical insulation industry, such as asbestos containing products.

    Do not put the lives of everyone who steps foot on a construction site in jeopardy. We all want to go home to our families at the end of the day. Our lives matter; keep IRAPs out of the construction industry now and in the future.

  • Training

    Our Heat & Frost Insulators and Allied Workers signatory contractors often bid on projects that require a workforce trained to the industry’s highest standards. In an Insulators Union Registered Apprenticeship Program, just like the one I completed, we receive the best training and education. Through a combination of mandatory classroom education and on-the-job training, Insulator Union apprentices develop elite skills.

    Thanks to our state-of-the-art training centers, where our apprentices receive industry leading training, including OSHA safety classes, we produce highly trained and highly skilled mechanical insulators. As someone who successfully completed the Insulators Union Registered Apprenticeship Program, I can work anywhere in the country in order to support my family.

    Our training is so important, that my union Brothers and Sisters are proud to say that part of our hourly wages supports our training programs. No taxpayer dollars are used to train union insulators. Do not change a system that has worked for more than 115 years.

    I fully support keeping IRAPs out of the construction industry indefinitely.

  • Military Veterans

    Not only am I an apprentice in an Insulators Union Registered Apprenticeship Program, but I am also a veteran, who fought for and defended America.

    After leaving the armed forces, I needed a good job. Thankfully, I learned about the Heat and Frost Insulators Union and their registered apprenticeship program, which provided me the ability to earn while I learn. Unlike some of my fellow military members, I was able to support my family through livable wages and great benefits after leaving the service. Do not replace the current training system and make it harder for my fellow veterans, including women and minorities, to get good paying jobs in the construction industry.

    We sacrificed so much for our country; do not mess up my life and hurt my family by ruining an apprenticeship program system that has worked for over a century. Keep IRAPs out of the construction industry forever.

  • Removing Oversight Will Mess Up Our Lives

    I am against bureaucrats re-writing Department of Labor rules to allow IRAPs in the construction industry. Current DOL rules make it possible for mechanical insulators like myself, and other highly trained and highly skilled construction workers, to earn a good living and achieve the American Dream.

    If those rules were re-written, highly trained and well-paid American construction workers would be replaced on jobsites across the country with unskilled, poorly trained workers. Some of them may not be living in the U.S. legally.

    Save the American Dream and help keep millions of American construction workers, who completed registered union apprenticeship programs, off of government subsidies. Stand up for the American worker and keep IRAPs out of the construction industry.

  • Clear Choice

    To me, the choice is clear. The President needs to keep his promise to create more good paying jobs by keeping IRAPs out of the construction industry. Seasoned bureaucrats of the “swamp” can break the President’s promise by pushing a plan no one wants, except the special interests who do not care if construction workers are poorly trained or the safety on jobsites.

    This change represents a clear and present danger to anyone who walks onto a construction jobsite or works in a facility with systems that must be maintained or constructed by men and women who have only the highest training. President Trump, the choice is clear, please keep your promise and keep IRAPs out of the construction industry– today and in the future.

  • Community

    A Building Trades Registered Apprenticeship Program benefits the workers, contractors and project owners, which is why we support keeping IRAPs out of the construction industry. Registered Building Trades Apprenticeship Programs like that of the Heat and Frost Insulators Union, train veterans, men, women and minorities in my community to perform highly skilled quality work, instead of bringing in cheap, foreign unskilled labor.

    Some people in the construction industry think Americans will not do these jobs, but I know that is not true. We need more – not less – opportunities for my neighbors to get good jobs with great wages and benefits in the construction industries. I agree with the decision to keep construction free of IRAPs – today and in the future.

  • Create Good Paying Jobs

    During his 2016 campaign, President Trump promised to create more good paying jobs. He has worked hard to keep many of his campaign promises and by keeping IRAPs out of construction, he can keep another promise by maintaining and creating good paying jobs.

    IRAPs will hurt my family and America if poorly trained construction workers take my job and the jobs of fellow building trades members.

    Do not let bureaucrats re-write Department of Labor rules, which will destroy the best registered apprenticeship programs in American history.

    Keep your promise Mr. President and keep IRAPs out of construction permanently.

Click here to find select talking points concerning the DOL and IRAPs provided by the North America's Building Trades Union (NABTU). 

Your dedication to fighting for our industry is what will continue to make the Heat and Frost Insulators Union strong.

In Solidarity of our entire Union,

  • James P. McCourt, General President
  • Greg T. Revard, General Secretary-Treasurer
  • Thomas A. Haun, Training Fund Administrator
  • Douglas N. Gamble, Western States Conference International Vice President
  • Terrence M. Larkin, Middle Atlantic States Conference International Vice President
  • Mark P. Selby, Midwest States Conference International Vice President
  • Patrick L. Barron, Jr., Central States Conference International Vice President
  • Timothy Keane, At Large International Vice President
  • Donald O. Stanley, Southeast States Conference International Vice President
  • Leo A. Damaris, Jr., Southwest States Conference International Vice President
  • Robert Reap, New York/New England States Conference International Vice President