Infrastructure investment, pro-labor politicians create jobs for members in Connecticut
Unprecedented infrastructure investment continues to create jobs for SMART sheet metal workers across the country. That includes Connecticut, where a project labor agreement is putting SMART Local 40 sheet metal members to work at Bradley International Airport.
“It’s a fantastic thing. We have a bunch of different people, not only from my local but overall in the Connecticut building trades, doing the background work, talking to the right folks so that we can go in there and make good, living wages” said Local 40 journeyperson Manny Heredia in an interview with SMART News.
The jobs Local 40 members will perform are part of approximately $230 million of work on the airport, which will see a total overhaul of the airport’s baggage handling area. Approximately $20 million of that amount is from federal infrastructure legislation, which included strong hiring incentives that benefit union members.
“We’re going to do energy efficient upgrades to the terminal, HVAC improvements which will include indoor air quality, MERV 13 or better air filters because it is an airport where everyone’s coming in, with all the airborne illnesses we’ve had,” Local 40 Regional Manager John Nimmons told SMART News.
“We are becoming a go-to trade, because people are realizing these buildings do need to have great ventilation systems,” Heredia added.
In the past, Nimmons explained, any renovations on Bradley International Airport would likely have been performed by nonunion workers. However, current Governor Ned Lamont sought the support of the Connecticut Building Trades during both of his election campaigns, and in return, he has acted in support of union workers.
“We now get to reap the benefits of jobs going our way with just the stroke of the governor’s pen,” Nimmons added. “All four years of our apprenticeship classes are full – we’re actively recruiting journeypersons and apprentices. The workload we have under project labor agreements, public and private in the state of Connecticut, looks very good over the next two-and-a-half to three years.”