Making an IMPACT
Michigan Works! honors Anthony Jones, Michigan Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Training Center & UA Local 370 at this years Impact Awards! Read Anthony’s story below to learn about how GST Michigan Works! & Partners are making an impact locally.
When Anthony Jones learned the drinking water in his home contained high levels of lead and the impact it was having on his children and his community, he went into action. The Gulf War veteran began volunteering alongside the Michigan National Guard, where he was introduced to Michigan Works! and the Environmental Career Workers Training Program.
The goal of the The Environmental Career Worker Training Program is to prepare minority, low-income unemployed/underemployed or dislocated worker residents of Flint for entrance into construction trades apprentice programs. Through generous funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) coordinated by The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), GST Michigan Works! and Michigan Building Trades Council provided an opportunity for Anthony to enroll in The Environmental Career Worker Training Program. The Michigan Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Lansing Training Center provide local coordination of the program.
“[The training process] was very hands on,” said Anthony. “From the first week, we were out in the field, touring and being shown examples of the work we were preparing for. We were in the classroom for eight hours a day, but it was worth it.”
GST Michigan Works! conducted a portion of the cohort training. Nearly all of the recent graduates of The Environmental Career Worker Training Program are currently working as Trade Union Apprentices.
Today, Anthony is a training graduate and member of the UA Local 370 Plumbers, Pipefitters and Service Trades. He is also an apprentice in Flint for a union signatory contract firm – the second contract he’s worked on since graduating.
What Anthony values most about this experience goes far beyond a new career. “The best part about all of this is that I was invited by my eight-year-old son to visit his classroom, where he presented me with an award,” said Anthony. “It says ‘Thanks Dad, for making our water safe.’ That’s what means the most to me.”
Find out more about the next Environmental Career Worker Training.
L-R: Howard Hipes – Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Training Center, State Rep. Phil Phelps, Anthony Jones, State Rep. Jim Ananich, Harold Harrington – Plumbers, Pipefitters, Service Trade Local 370, Michael Lynch – Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 2, Jody Kerbyson – CEO of GST Michigan Works!