UNiCON celebrates National Apprenticeship Week


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — National Apprenticeship Week helps educate and inform millions of people looking to build careers.

UNiCON Rochester Executive Director Joe Leone discussed the importance of the initiative and the impact it has on his organization Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

“Apprenticeship programs, in general, are an earn while you learn model,” Leone explained. “National Apprenticeship Week is an initiative that the United States Department of Labor started about five years ago. We picked it up here in Rochester several years ago and UNiCON hosts a series of events throughout the week, promoting the value and opportunities associated with apprenticeship programs.”

Leone noted apprenticeships are standard throughout the country and world. “Rochester, in particular, has a really good relationship between the labor and management side of that equation,” he said. “So the contractors, the labor unions, the thousands of workers in the construction industry that work through the labor unions, with the hundreds of contractors have a great working relationship here in Rochester. They support the apprenticeship programs heavily and they’re supported with joint labor-management associations. That is also not unique to Rochester, but it’s special here in that we do a really good job with it.”

UNiCON is making the most of National Apprenticeship Week. “This week, in particular, there’s a series of events taking place,” Leone said. “There are career fairs. I encourage everyone to go to our web site, www.UNiCONRochester.com, where they can find all sorts of information relative to National Apprenticeship Week. They can find links to every trade union. If they know what trade union they are particularly interested in, they can go to that web site. They all have a web site where they have information relative to their application process for their apprenticeship programs.”

Leone added, “Some of the career fairs that we conduct, we have all of the different trades there; bricklayers, carpenters, sheet metal workers, ironworkers, so on and so forth, all the way down the line. There are about 16 different crafts that they can examine, and consider, and choose from.”

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