By Mark Frost, Chronicle Editor
President Biden has appointed national union official Larry Bulman of South Glens Falls as labor’s representative on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Information Advisory Council.
Mr. Bulman told The Chronicle in a text exchange, “It’s humbling and certainly very exciting to be given this opportunity, especially at a time when Workforce Development is so desperately needed!
“Both Labor and Business appreciate that the White House and Congress have actively promoted reshoring of manufacturing to bolster the domestic supply chain [and] create American jobs, but we must be ready with the skilled workers to complete the task! Big and small business understand this and want to be a contributing partner.”
Based in Annapolis, Maryland, Mr. Bulman is Special Representative for UA — the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada.
The union noted that he’s “a 4th Generation UA member.” UA “represents approximately 369,000 Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinkler Fitters, HVACR Service Technicians, Welders and Pipeliners working in the construction industry throughout North America.”
UA said, “Brother Bulman, who was initiated into the United Association in September of 1987, will bring his decades of experience and the perspective of all United Association members to this essential committee.”
Mr. Bulman told us, “November 6th is our first meeting.” He noted that there is “only one labor representative on the WIAC council. I’m replacing a labor leader from Washington State.”
Most panel members are state officials from agencies such as Labor & Workforce Development, Job and Family Services and Labor and Industrial Relations.
Also represented is a “Research Entity,” “National Business or Trade Association” and an “Economic Development Entity.”
UA said, “This advisory council was established to provide recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Labor to evaluate and improve the nationwide workforce and labor market information systems — an essential component of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which helps grow and strengthen workforce training, like the United Association’s gold-standard registered apprenticeship model.”
The UA release said, “The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act was first signed into law by President Obama in 2014 and is ‘designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.’”
Mr. Bulman told The Chronicle that “to prepare for meetings I will be communicating with my partners in Organized Labor, the Business Community and the Economic Development leaders in all 50 states — especially around Infrastructure, Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology and the Pharmaceutical Industry — then sharing information on the innovative approaches we have developed at the UA, the new technologies we have deployed over the last few years to enhance our skills training for our women and men in the trades.”
Russ Breckenridge, who succeeded Mr. Bulman as UA’s Director of Legislative and Political Affairs, was quoted in the press release: “When the United Association gets involved in politics, we win more work for our members and solidify our standing as the most influential voice in organized labor.
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