LABORERS-AGC TRAINING CENTER
The AGC-Eastern Missouri Laborers’ Joint Training Trust Fund was created in May of 1970 through collective bargaining initiated by the Eastern Missouri Laborers’ District Council and the Associated General Contractors of Missouri. The purpose of the Trust Fund was to provide training for construction laborers employed on building and heavy/highway construction projects in outstate Eastern Missouri. In 1986 the Training Fund was expanded to include training for construction laborers employed on building and heavy/highway construction projects in the City and County of St. Louis.
Training classes were implemented in 1972 and primarily utilized the training facility owned and operated by the Western Missouri and Kansas Laborers near Belton, Missouri. In the early 1980’s the Eastern Missouri Laborers’ Training Fund purchased 175 acres on I-70 near the town of High Hill, Missouri. Construction of the Training Center commenced shortly thereafter.
Today, the $9 million LABORERS-AGC Training Center includes an Administration Building which contains offices, a full-service dining room, Multi-Purpose Building houses an auditorium, student study/recreation room, and computer lab. There are 5 separate training buildings that provide classroom and indoor ‘hands-on’ areas for instruction in all phases of the construction laborers’ scope of work. Dormitory housing for 24 students per week is provided for those wishing to stay at the Center rather than commute back and forth each day. There are numerous outside ‘hands-on’ areas as well as a 5-acre lake that provides training and recreational space. Additional training classes are conducted at a Satellite Training facility located in St. Charles, Missouri. The Training Center employs a staff of 16 which includes full-time instructors and an apprenticeship advisor.
More than 11,600 persons have completed 49,882 classes since full time classes commenced in 1986. The Training Center today serves the needs of approximately 7,000 construction laborers who work for more than 640 signatory contractors in Eastern Missouri. Training schedules are published and mailed to the homes of all laborers and the offices of all contractors. In addition, class schedules are updated monthly and available on the Training Center’s web site - www.laborers-highhill.org.
Over 60 separate courses of instruction ranging from 3-5 days in length are offered. Classes cover Construction Craft Laborer Skills and Advancement Skills. Environmental refresher classes are offered approximately four times a year on the first Saturday of the month.
Construction Craft Laborers’ Apprenticeship Program
On October 23, 1995 the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, approved Standards providing for the Construction Craft Laborers’ Apprenticeship Program for the Eastern Portion of the State of Missouri, including the St. Louis Metropolitan Area (Registration #MO-002-950002). The first person to complete the program was Mr. Craig Kraichely. He was registered on December 21, 1995 and sponsored by Gershenson Construction Company. He was assigned to Local 110 (St. Louis, MO). He completed the program on March 31, 1998. Since then, 3,271 persons have registered in the apprenticeship program.
Applications to the program are accepted between the hours of 9:00 am and 3:00 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays through the year at the LABORERS-AGC Training Center (High Hill, MO). Persons wishing to apply for the apprenticeship program must provide proof of age (must be at least 18 years of age) and proof of education (high school diploma or GED certificate). They must have a valid driver’s license and dependable transportation. They must be able to work as part of a team and posses the ability to adjust to the rigors of working outdoors. Before an applicant can be employed as an apprentice, they must obtain a written offer of employment from a signatory contractor.
Construction Craft Laborer Apprentices usually finish the program in 30-36 months. Apprentices complete 4,000 hours of on-the-job training, and between 296 - 376 hours of vocational skills classes at the Training Center. The starting wage rate for apprentices is based on a percentage of the journey level wage rate. Apprentices are advanced in pay based on a progressively increasing schedule of wages consistent with skills and knowledge acquired. Apprentices receive the same vacation, health and welfare, and pension benefits as journey level laborers.
The Construction Craft Laborers’ Apprenticeship Program is designed to give individuals the skills and abilities needed for a rewarding career in construction, whether employed on building construction, heavy/highway construction, utility line construction or environmental abatement/remediation.