LOCAL 1150 HOSTS CAREER PATHWAYS LABOR HISTORY DAY
Teamsters Local 1150 hosted its “Labor History Day” for Career Pathways Union Mentoring program participants on Friday. The day combines lessons in labor history with career building workshops.
“The day provides context to the work students perform on the shop floor,” said Rocco Calo, Teamsters Local 1150 Secretary-Treasurer. “The world of work goes beyond the tasks performed on the clock. Labor history day delves deep into everything from those who came before us to the intricacies of the current contract.”
The Teamsters-Sikorsky Career Pathways Union Mentoring Program is a model program pairing students with working Teamsters for two consecutive summers. In summer 2019, 48 students from eight area trade and public high schools enrolled in the program. Participants report for work daily at the Sikorsky helicopter facilities in Stratford, Bridgeport and Shelton, Connecticut. . The students are paired with working Teamsters. Students work a regular workweek and perform the same job hand-in-hand with the Local 1150 member. They are paid union wages for every hour worked.
“This is not theory, it’s action,” Calo said. “Career Pathways provides hands-on, everyday experience. Each and every day whether on the shop floor or in the backshops, the students’ work has a direct impact in the creation of the finest helicopters in the world..”
As part of the Labor History Day, students are assigned by year into different curriculum tracks.
Second-year participants attend the following workshops:
•Labor unions in the workplace today
•Education opportunities in advanced manufacturing
“We focus second year students on the skills that will help them enter the workplace right now ,” said Joe Grabinski, . Career Pathways Director and Local 1150 Chief Safety Steward. “At the end of the summer it stops being school and gets real. Once the summer is over there are no more safety nets. Our students are leaving the nest, and this is our final push to give them the practical skills for landing their first job.”
The first-year program curriculum includes:
•Organizing and Mock Contract negotiations
Long before the news media began focusing on issues surrounding the fact that college isn’t the right path for every high school senior, Career Pathways was bringing students onto the shop floor and giving them real work experience. Started in 2002 by Calo and the company, more than 200 students have already “graduated” from the program.
“The program is successful because it’s real. More than 110 graduates have gone on to work for the company and many others have pursued manufacturing careers in other industries,” Calo said. “The Career Pathways partnership benefits the students, the union, the company and the entire community.”