Union, Non-profit Team Up to Create “Industrial Athletes” for Diverse Workforce

The Painters District Council 58 will teach craft skills and soft skills.

February 4, 2015 | 2 min reading time

Mayor Francis Slay will join Demetrious Johnson and members of IUPAT Painters District Council 58 in support of a program to train local minority candidates for a good job.

The Painters District Council 58 will teach craft skills and soft skills to 17 young men and women, who have been selected to be a part of the first training class. Participants who complete the rigorous, 14-week course will get help securing employment in union and non-union jobs with contractors.

Participants were interviewed and selected out of the Demetrious Johnson/Eddie Mae Binion Workforce Center, which assists young people who live in high-poverty, often high-crime neighborhoods. The goal of the partnership with the Painters Union is to create a pool of well-trained and motivated job candidates for the workforce.

"I call it creating 'industrial athletes' because an athlete must be disciplined and committed to putting in the hard work," Demetrious Johnson said. "The same can be said of a good employee."

"This initiative creates a pathway to a successful career while merging the gap between people who want to work and those who need skilled workers," Mayor Slay said. "It also builds our minority workforce by setting our young residents in a positive direction to be able to provide for themselves and their families."

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