Over 41 percent of Minnesota’s blue collar construction workforce – the skilled professionals who build and maintain our roads, bridges, schools, housing, utilities, energy infrastructure and hospitals – are union members. This rate of unionization is more than double the nationwide average for the construction industry.
Through privately negotiated collective bargaining agreements with contractors, Minnesota’s building trades unions help ensure the construction industry is creating good paying middle-class jobs, promoting safety and efficiency on the jobsite, and developing the next generation of craft workers.
Joint Labor-Management Apprenticeship programs are a no-cost alternative to college that train workers for in-demand construction careers. Administered collaboratively by building trades unions and their signatory employers, these programs represent the largest privately funded system of higher education in Minnesota.
Union apprentices earn a paycheck while developing skills through a mix of classroom and on-the-job training. Upon graduation, they earn average incomes on par with other types of workers with college degrees.