World-Class Apprenticeship Training Takes Center Stage in Downtown Miami

Editor’s note: The following is a press release from the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC).

MIAMI (May 10, 2023) – The International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC), the Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund (EIWPF), and Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) this week joined the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) and IUEC Local 71 to highlight for Miami-Dade lawmakers and other County officials the value of hands-on training and education opportunities in the organized elevator industry.

“This week, our union put on a great show at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center,” said IUEC Local 71 Business Manager John Herbert. “As Miami-Dade lawmakers and County officials walked from station to station, I was so proud to witness firsthand as they realized just how sophisticated our union’s training and education program is – I saw the lightbulbs go off, as attendees recognized how our union’s robust safety standards are necessary to prioritize worker safety and the safety of the riding public.”

Florida is one of nearly 40 states that currently requires licensing for the workers installing, maintaining, and repairing elevators, escalators, and moving walkways.

“Everything the IUEC does – it’s all about safety. We fight every day not only for the safety of our members, but for a safer industry as a whole. What’s more, the IUEC advocates for the safety of the men, women, and children riding elevators and escalators as part of their daily routines,” said IUEC Organizer Abel Arabitg. “In November 2022, news broke that certain Florida elevator mechanics had participated in a scheme to illegally obtain their licenses. I immediately thought of the potential repercussions. We could see serious injuries. Worse yet, we could see fatalities. This was and remains very personal for me, as Miami is my home. Showcasing our apprenticeship program in Miami this week was a great step to help ensure key stakeholders understand how critical education and training are in the elevator industry.”

IUEC members entering the trade are immediately enrolled in a four-plus year U.S. Department of Labor-Registered Apprenticeship program. Through classroom courses, hands-on experiential learning, and online virtual simulations, the NEIEP curriculum provides apprentices with the theoretical foundations and practical skills they need to become the industry’s most highly-skilled elevator constructors.

“IUEC members are dedicated to the safety of any person traveling on elevators, escalators, and moving walks,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Kevin Cabrera (District 6). “As I spoke to instructors from the union’s apprenticeship program, it was evident that classroom learning coupled with hands-on training is a recipe for success. In my district, and across the Sunshine State, I want to know the riding public is safe, and for that to be a reality, the hardworking men and women building and maintaining the equipment must be properly trained and licensed.”