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Trade Union Job Fair Seeks Potential Hires

Rilling highlights importance of union workers

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Norwalk, CT | Added on May 22, 2015 At 06:00 PM

Mayor Harry Rilling joined local trade unions at a job fair on Friday to focus on some of state's fastest growing occupations: union jobs. 

"If you're unemployed for a period of time, you feel that you don't have any hope, you feel that there's no chance for you to be employed and you're looking and your looking, but sometimes you're not looking in the right area so there's the area right here." 

Eleven labor management trust schools were on hand in the community room at Norwalk City Hall to speak to men and women interested in training for occupations in carpentry, plumbing, electricity and other construction trades. 

"This is the first mayor in Norwalk who also believes in project labor agreements on municipal projects, which is really important because the quality of work is much higher and the results you get is much better," said Adam Wood, aide to Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch.

"These schools are all involved with the building trades and what they are, are tickets to the middle class," said Valente. "So someone enters a program, they don't need to know anything, they get a tuition-free training for generally four or five years in a skilled craft, they earn money from day one."

"You start as an apprentice," said Omar Izazaga, trade union apprentice. "They teach you everything, they send you to school, they give you an eduction so it's great, the benefits are great."   

The idea of a trade union job fair came about by local advocate Martha Dumas.

"The more I can get the young men off the streets and working, the better our community is," said Martha Dumas. 

The Connecticut Department of Labor has identified these union jobs as growing. Vinnie Valente, Program manager for the office of partnership and training at the CT Department of Labor says training is essential part of a qualified worker.   

"They'll go through a four or five year training program, where we used to call the original four year degree and their value is $10,000 to $20,000 scholarship for free and at the end of the process, they have good middle class jobs." 

"Once you reach that four-year, five-year certificate, you're young enough to start your own," said Dumas. 

Opportunities are available to those age 18 and over.

For more information on becoming a trade worker visit


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