General President Hite was one of 13 representatives from corporations, community colleges, the labor community, and non-profit organizations to join Vice President Biden and Secretary of Labor Perez yesterday to discuss ways to create and expand new skills training programs as a strategy to help American workers, as well as U.S. industry. The forum featured a detailed presentation by Vice President Biden and a moderated panel by Secretary Perez.

Pairing skilled workers with the right jobs or the training necessary to get the right jobs is a major component in the initiative to expand the American workforce, which is why General President Hite was proud to represent the United Association at yesterday’s roundtable.

“There’s no better model than building trades joint apprenticeship programs. We pay for these programs ourselves with private funds and invest significant resources into developing high-quality programs through joint apprenticeship committees,” said General President Hite.

“We are proud that our programs (1) pay workers while they learn; (2) combine on-the-job training with classroom education; and (3) guarantee post-completion employment. This way, our members graduate from our programs with no education debt, good job prospects, and money in their pockets!”

Participants of the panel included:

  • William P. Hite, General President, The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada 
  • Ashwin Bharath Pushpanayagam, COO, Multivision, Inc. 
  • Barbara Veazey, President and CEO, West Kentucky Community and Technical College 
  • Debra Shephard, President, Lake Area Technical Institute 
  • Doris Gonzalez, Director, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs in the America, IBM Corporation 
  • Earl Buford, President and CEO, Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership/BIG STEP 
  • Edward Gordon, Founder and Owner, Imperial Consulting Corporation 
  • Karen Sitnick, Director, Workforce Investment Board of Baltimore City 
  • Maureen Conway, Executive Director, Economic Opportunities Program, The Aspen Institute 
  • Michael Callanan, Executive Director, National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the Electrical Industry (NJATC) 
  • Patrick Cushing, CEO and Co-Founder, WorkHands 
  • Rufus Glasper, Chancellor, Maricopa Community Colleges 
  • Shaila Ittycheria, Co-Founder, Enstitute 
  • Steve VanAusdle, President, Walla Walla Community College