News Brief

Plumbing and Pipe-Fitting Union Welcomes Green Training

Labor unions are beginning to seek sustainability education for a “competitive edge,” and Urban Green Council is happy to comply.

After taking a GPRO course, plumber Carl Gambino (above), who works on the construction of One World Trade Center, said he better understood “what was being built and why I was being asked to change the way we worked.” The new partnership between Urban Green Council and UA aims bring the same experience to thousands of workers.

Photo: Urban Green Council
New York’s Urban Green Council has joined forces with a national labor union to provide training in sustainable practices to thousands of plumbers, pipe fitters, sprinkler fitters, and HVAC technicians.

Members of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry (UA) will receive Urban Green Council’s Green Professional Building Skills Training (GPRO) program, which includes material on technologies such as condensing boilers, solar thermal systems, and onsite graywater and blackwater recycling systems. “We’re seeing how sustainability is rapidly becoming a necessity in all types of buildings” said William Hite, president of UA. “GPRO training will give our members a competitive edge as our trade evolves.”

The trainings should also bring environmental benefits since systems designed for efficiency only perform well if they are installed correctly and maintained. In fact, if enough contractors, trades, operators, and service workers onsite have GPRO certificates, a building project can earn a LEED pilot credit.

According to Urban Green Council, GPRO will soon be made available to other building trade unions through the Building Trades Academy of AFL-CIO.

Published December 30, 2013

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July 31, 2014 - 2:12 pm

Urban Green Council recently announced an agreement with National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC), the nonprofit arm of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) to offer GPRO to their members. The partnership will make the training available to more than 750,000 electricians, representing the $130 billion electrical construction industry.