Monday, October 2, 2017

U.S. Labor Secretary Visits Signature Building Systems

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta toured Signature Building Systems, a custom modular home factory in Moosic, PA, last week to highlight President Donald Trump’s push for more apprenticeship training to fill 6.2 million jobs that lack workers skilled enough to do them.

Sec of Labor Alexander Acosta (L), Vic DePhillips, Pres of Signature (R)

Companies like Signature Building Systems know the value of apprenticeship programs — allowing workers to earn money as they gradually gain experience in different construction skills, Acosta said after touring the company plant with Victor DePhillips, Signature’s president and chief executive officer.

“Americans want to work and the educational institutions are not giving them the skills that they need,” Acosta said. “You can get an education and you can hold a job at the same time. The idea of an apprenticeship is ... you earn while you learn.”

DePhillips led Acosta on a tour of the plant, where 135 employees work, off Route 502. They strolled and chatted about the company’s manufacturing process among stacked blocks of wood; scaffolding that surrounded modular units still under construction on wheeled frames; and the wooden frames of future floors. Wooden beams swung on pulleys suspended from the ceiling of the steel-frame plant. Saws buzzed, nail guns fired and hammers pounded.

In June, Trump signed an executive order telling Acosta to develop regulations that promote development of apprenticeship programs by third parties and to use available money to fund them.

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