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Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence

Representing the 14th District of Michigan

Illinois Tollway Constructionworks program launches across Northern Illinois

March 6, 2019
In The News

Access to training, apprenticeships and careers within skilled construction trades offered through the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership. A few years ago, during a panel discussion at the 47th annual Congressional Black Caucus, U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) was the opening speaker on the topic of “Putting Black America to Work: the New Skilled Trade Workforce.” Lawrence noted that the industry supported by skilled trade workers will need an infusion of youth because the average age of workers was 53 years old. Rep. Lawrence said, “We are building a new bridge from Detroit to Windsor (Canada). I’ve been told we are bringing in welders from Vietnam to help build it.” It seems unfathomable that the United States, a country with a population of approximately 330 million, has to import welders from another country—especially when some of those unionized trade jobs pay $30, $40 or $50 an hour. However, as Lawrence said, “One of the trade skills in big demand now is for welders.”