Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SFPUC Labor Relations Efforts Paying Off During Economic Downturn

New Crystal Springs Bypass Tunnel contractor Shank/Balfour Beatty has 27% of its workforce hours in apprenticeship, exceeding the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards requirement of 20%, according to the WSIP Labor Relations Office. The contractor is also providing tunneling equipment on loan to the Northern California Laborers Apprenticeship Program for use in training programs, reports Ardis Graham, Project Labor Agreement Administrator.

The New Crystal Springs Bypass Tunnel is one of SFPUC’s water system improvement projects, and is covered under the WSIP’s Project Labor Agreement (PLA).

For crane and equipment apprentice Simon Streeter and welding apprentice Justin Stephens, the PLA’s initiatives have resulted in opportunities to learn new, transferable skills through the Tunnel project. “We’re learning from guys with many years of experience. They look out for us. It is great to be employed in a good paying job where I learn something new each day,” said Streeter. Both men are residents in the WSIP service area.

Photos: Simon Streeter (top) and Justin Stephens (bottom).

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