Tradesmen pour into Iowa to tackle flood damage
- By JENNIFER JACOBS, The Des Moines Register
The work force of about 600 electricians with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 405 in Cedar Rapids wasn't enough to tackle repairing the damage, so union supervisors sent out urgent messages to metro areas in Michigan and Minnesota where work is slow.
In the coming weeks, carpenters and plumbers will come from out of state to do smaller commercial projects, union leaders said. But right now, the army of tradesmen is composed of licensed electricians and millwrights, who repair industrial equipment.
More than 400 union electricians poured into Cedar Rapids alone, some as quickly as the day after getting the call.
In addition, 1,073 new construction-related tradesmen, not including electricians, have registered with the state since May, according to Iowa Workforce Development records.