The International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC), the Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund (EIWPF), and Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) this week joined the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) and IUEC Local 71 to highlight for Miami-Dade lawmakers and other County officials the value of hands-on training and education opportunities in the organized elevator industry.
“This week, our union put on a great show at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center,” said IUEC Local 71 Business Manager John Herbert. “As Miami-Dade lawmakers and County officials walked from station to station, I was so proud to witness firsthand as they realized just how sophisticated our union’s training and education program is – I saw the lightbulbs go off, as attendees recognized how our union’s robust safety standards are necessary to prioritize worker safety and the safety of the riding public.”
Florida is one of nearly 40 states that currently requires licensing for the workers installing, maintaining, and repairing elevators, escalators, and moving walkways.
“Everything the IUEC does – it’s all about safety. We fight every day not only for the safety of our members, but for a safer industry as a whole. What’s more, the IUEC advocates for the safety of the men, women, and children riding elevators and escalators as part of their daily routines,” said IUEC Organizer Abel Arabitg. “In November 2022, news broke that certain Florida elevator mechanics had participated in a scheme to illegally obtain their licenses. I immediately thought of the potential repercussions. We could see serious injuries. Worse yet, we could see fatalities. This was and remains very personal for me, as Miami is my home. Showcasing our apprenticeship program in Miami this week was a great step to help ensure key stakeholders understand how critical education and training are in the elevator industry.”
IUEC members entering the trade are immediately enrolled in a four-plus year U.S. Department of Labor-Registered Apprenticeship program. Through classroom courses, hands-on experiential learning, and online virtual simulations, the NEIEP curriculum provides apprentices with the theoretical foundations and practical skills they need to become the industry’s most highly-skilled elevator constructors.
“IUEC members are dedicated to the safety of any person traveling on elevators, escalators, and moving walks,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Kevin Cabrera (District 6). “As I spoke to instructors from the union’s apprenticeship program, it was evident that classroom learning coupled with hands-on training is a recipe for success. In my district, and across the Sunshine State, I want to know the riding public is safe, and for that to be a reality, the hardworking men and women building and maintaining the equipment must be properly trained and licensed.”
Along with their classroom learning, IUEC members must complete 8,000 hours of on-the-job learning under the supervision of an experienced mechanic and pass a capstone Mechanic Exam to graduate to mechanic status.
“The exhibit was impressive,” said Keon Hardemon, District 3 Commissioner.
Finishing the apprenticeship program is not the end of an IUEC mechanic’s education; the program offers more than 40 online and classroom-based continuing education courses covering many aspects of the elevator industry. Continuing education courses covering emerging technologies and code updates are available every year and are now required for all new mechanics.
“At NEIEP, it’s all about safety – safety, education, and training. We simply cannot expect safety on a jobsite or safety for the riding public if the workers in this industry have not been properly educated, and NEIEP is the gold standard in the elevator trade,” said NEIEP Head of Development Lester White. “My team works hand in hand with the IUEC Safety Department to see that our members get home to their families at the end of the day, and we agree – if we wouldn’t let someone we love ride a certain elevator or escalator, then that particular unit is not acceptable for any person to ride.”
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL UNION OF ELEVATOR CONSTRUCTORS
The International Union of Elevator Constructors represents more than 31,000 of the most qualified and trained elevator constructors in the world. Members construct elevators, escalators, dumbwaiters, moving walkways, and similar equipment in new and old buildings alike. Elevator constructors also maintain and repair this equipment and modernize older equipment.
ABOUT THE ELEVATOR INDUSTRY WORK PRESERVATION FUND
The Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund is an industry-wide (United States and Canada) labor-management cooperation committee dedicated to improving the relationships and cooperation between employers and the more than 31,000 organized elevator constructors.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ELEVATOR INDUSTRY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM
The National Elevator Industry Educational Program offers craft training for all employees covered by the agreement between signatory contractors and the International Union of Elevator Constructors. NEIEP effectively provides hands-on training utilizing labs, assorted training aids, text materials, and video. NEIEP designs, develops, updates, administers, and monitors the Mechanic Examinations in accordance with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Learn more: https://www.neiep.org/bst-Default.aspx.
ABOUT HELMETS TO HARDHATS
Helmets to Hardhats is a national, nonprofit program that connects National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military service members to careers in the construction industry.
Learn more: https://helmetstohardhats.org.