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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Tuesday, December 27, 2005 ::

    Worker shortage may threaten construction boom - By Courtney Sherwood, Longview Daily News, WA
    'There is a lack of skilled labor,' said Linda Praast, executive director of the Lower Columbia Contractors Association. 'We don't have the electricians, we don't have the framers, we don't have the carpenters we need.'

    That shortage is not due to lack of recruitment efforts on the part of the trades.

    Local unions offer apprenticeship programs, and Longview just passed a resolution to get more apprentices involved in work on city-funded projects.

    The city's new program was instituted after representatives of Carpenters and Millwrights Union Local 1707 and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Local 970 came forward about a need for more trained workers. Now whenever the city signs a construction contract over $500,000, the contractor will be required to use apprentices for 15 percent of total labor hours.
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