Wisconsin Has Seen Largest Middle-Class Decline Of Any State, Study Finds

Wisconsin Has Seen Largest Middle-Class Decline Of Any State, Study Finds

Economist Says De-Unionization, Recession, Erosion Of Manufacturing Are Factors

A new state-by-state analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that Wisconsin experienced the biggest decline in middle-class households in the country between the years 2000 and 2013.

The study found that the percentage of households in the middle class dropped in all 50 states, with Wisconsin’s drop from 54.6 percent to 48.9 percent being the most significant. Moreover, Wisconsin saw a 14 percent decline in median household income. (Read more…)

New Director: OR/SW Washington Roofers & Wasterproofers Apprenticeship & Training Center

We are proud to announce that Joel Gonzalez will be the new director for the Oregon/SW Washington Roofers & Waterproofers Apprenticeship & Training Center. We thank Cliff Mapes for the time he has dedicated to the program and wish him well in his next endeavor.

Joel can be reached using the following contact information:

Joel Gonzalez-Director


Office: 503-546-4235

Cell: 503-914-7168


Oregon labor’s legislative agenda still in the air

With six weeks remaining in its 2015 session, the Oregon Legislature has entered the season of vote-counting and deal-cutting.

Democrats control 35 of the 60 seats in the House, and 18 of 30 seats in the Senate, yet it’s an open question whether they’ll deliver significant gains for working people this year. Several key labor-backed bills would require more from Oregon employers; if those bills come to a vote, corporate Democrats would have to demonstrate which side they’re on. (Read more here) 


Oregonians should embrace Coos gas pipeline

Oregon State Building & Construction Trades Council’s own Executive Secretary John Mohlis writes on embracing Jordan Cove gas export terminal and the Pacific Connector pipeline. These projects will create thousands of construction jobs for several years, foster greater economic opportunities for the state, and create 200 permanent living-wage jobs in Coos County. All while providing the basis for a revitalization of one of the best, most under-utilized ports in America.

Read the full article here.


Understanding and Accessing Union Apprenticeships

There is a lot of buzz these days about a skilled worker shortage.  Apprenticeships are often overlooked as a promising post-secondary option.  Many advisors and parents are unaware that most apprentices complete their training debt-free, while earning living wages, health care and contributing to a pension plan.  For students who have their eyes on a diploma, most apprenticeships are affiliated with a community college and apply toward an associates degree.

The sponsors of this workshop are invested in the future of our industries, in providing a qualified workforce for our industry, and in providing opportunities for training and living wages for the youth who will become our workforce.

We invite you to participate this year.  We welcome the opportunity to provide insight into the apprenticeship model as well as the hard and soft skills essential to our workforce.

To register, please contact Bridget Quinn at bquinn@nietc.org, Workforce Development Coordinator for the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center in Portland.  You will be sent a link before the event so that you may select your breakout sessions on-line.  Please share this information with anyone who works with youth in respect to their post-secondary options.

OBTC Apprentice