The MCA of Eastern Missouri (MCA-EMO) has partnered with UA Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 and the Plumbing Industry Council (PIC) to deliver an innovative program designed to expand membership diversity. The CHAMPIONS Initiative, an acronym for Creating Hometown Advantages through Minority Participation in Our Neighborhoods, seeks to diversify the plumbing & pipefitting trades and strengthen the St. Louis workforce.
This is the second program installment of this initiative designed to highlight efforts to increase inclusion and career opportunities in the trades for women and minorities, specifically those located in St. Louis City. Last year’s candidates are officially 1st Year Apprentices at LU562 and employed by MCA-EMO and PIC contractors. These 11 outstanding candidates launch the CHAMPIONS Initiative 2021, selected through a highly competitive interview process. This new group is expected to achieve the same success, as they move through initial training and into employment as pre-apprentices with partnering contractors such as Haberberger, Inc., Murphy Company, C&R Mechanical, Corrigan Company, icon Mechanical and Rock Hill Mechanical.
Steve Faust, business development and diversity coordinator for icon Mechanical—a Local 562 signatory contractor and sponsor of the CHAMPIONS program, played a key role in the program’s development.
“As we looked ahead at our industry’s work in the city of St. Louis over the next few years, we realized we need a continuing, larger, and more diverse workforce,” Faust said.
At Orientation Day, the new cohort was welcomed by Local 562 staff, mechanical and plumbing contractors, and the MCA-EMO. They received advice on starting a new career, took an in-depth tour of the state-of-the-art training center, and met with their career mentors for the first time. Tuesday officially began their intensive 6-weeks of training, which includes an introduction to plumbing & pipefitting, professional development courses, speakers, tours of major construction projects, and mentorship.
When their pre-apprenticeship will end, and they will begin the five-year apprenticeship program to become proven journeymen and journeywomen.
“We are excited to be continuing this flagship program with our industry partners and look forward to a diversified and strengthened workforce in St. Louis,” said Steve Haberberger, MCA-EMO Vice President.
The Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri is an organization of union mechanical contractors that empowers members through education, training, information and labor-management relations. The MCA promotes