US Labor & Commerce Secretaries Praise 32BJ Training Fund Model

Emiljana Ulaj, 347-602-3129, eulaj@seiu32bj.org

US Labor & Commerce Secretaries Praise 32BJ Training Fund Model

US Labor & Commerce Secretaries Praise 32BJ Training Fund Model as an Innovative Labor-Management Partnership that Invests in Workers

The building service union hosted a roundtable with the Biden administration discussing innovative approaches to bold investments in workforce development that raise industry standards

Click here for photos from the event.

New York, NY — On Wednesday, August 4th, US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo praised the work of the 32BJ Training Fund as a model labor-management partnership that the Biden administration would work to encourage nationwide.
The Secretaries joined 32BJ President Kyle Bragg, members and employers for a roundtable discussion about the 32BJ Training Fund, a joint labor-management partnership that offers training to over 97,000 eligible participants. The Fund offers more than 250 different courses ranging from the 8-Hour Annual required for Security Officers in New York State, to English as a Second Language, to Fire & Life Safety Director which allows workers to maintain mandatory certifications to operate their buildings, all led by experts in their fields.

US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh said, “Secretary Raimondo and I are deeply impressed by the level of engagement that the 32BJ Fund has from workers and the many paths to opportunity and middle-class jobs provided through the Training Fund. We learned a great deal from today’s discussion that we will take back to President Biden as we develop additional plans for bold investments in America’s workers.”

Secretary Raimondo noted the collaborative relationship between employers and the union in the Training Fund’s success.

“The importance of flexibility and collaboration were some of the main takeaways from today’s roundtable. The 32BJ Training Fund offers an exemplary model of a successful labor-management partnership that works cooperatively and is continually adjusting to meet the needs of businesses and workers,” said US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

32BJ President Kyle Bragg moderated the discussion and was joined at the union’s Manhattan headquarters by special guests Congressmen Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) and Jamaal Bowman (NY-16).

“Investing in workers is infrastructure. We are deeply proud of the work of the 32BJ Training Fund and to host this discussion with Secretary Walsh and Secretary Raimondo. The 32BJ Training Fund has over 30,000 course enrollments each year and provides many paths for workers to build their careers. I want to thank the Biden administration for their commitment to ensuring paths to family-sustaining jobs for working people,” said Kyle Bragg, President of 32BJ.

The roundtable discussion included participation between employers who work closely with the 32BJ Training Fund and 32BJ members who have used the training fund to advance their careers, including Orla DiTaranto, one of the first women Resident Managers in Manhattan.

“I started as a 32BJ member working as a doorwoman, and the Training Fund provided opportunities for me to invest in my skills. I worked full time, took care of my young son, and went to classes at night time. Within a few years, I was promoted to be one of the first women Resident Managers in New York. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities provided to me through the 32BJ Training Fund, and I am glad to encourage my staff to take classes to advance their careers,” said Orla DiTaranto, 32BJ member.

The employers who were a part of the roundtable discussion praised the responsiveness of the leadership of the Training Fund for the successful partnership that benefits both businesses and workers.

“I remember when the pandemic first began, I called Linda Nelson, Director of the Training Fund, and I said, ‘Linda, an employer needs 6,000 workers trained in COVID disinfecting in the next 10 days. Can we get this done?’ And in 10 days Linda and her team created a training for COVID disinfecting protocols and trained 6,000 workers. That level of collaboration and willingness to create new classes so that workers’ skills can meet the needs of the industry is part of why we feel the 32BJ Training Fund is a great investment for employers,” said Howard Rothschild, President of the Realty Advisory Board.

Of all of the current 175,000 32BJ members, 45,800 have taken courses through the 32BJ Training Fund. The Training Fund offers classes in person and online, and a full course catalog is available here.

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