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Every contractor knows the frustration of an unreliable worker —or worse, the loss of a key employee, someone who can multitask, the one who keeps your project running smoothly, safely and on time.

While foremen and superintendents come to mind first as pivotal people a job site can’t function properly without, often many valuable laborers are further down the chain of command. This dependable asset could be “just” a worker: the laborer who, for example, is the demo, environmental-certified blueprint reader, scaffold builder and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30-hour person.

“Shopping” for quality, multiskilled and reliable workers through ads, the internet, and agencies is time consuming and unreliable. An alternative to the revolving door of untested workers is available. Among the alternatives are apprenticeship, journeyworker upgrade training and supervisory prep are among the options available for new hires.

It’s as easy as taking your company’s “shopping list” and visiting the nearest LIUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America) affiliate training facility to stock up on exactly what is needed most at the job site.

“We’ve got you covered if you’re a contractor,” says John LeConche, executive director of LIUNA Training & Education Fund. “We’re a one-stop shop for all your workforce development and training needs.”

Across the United States and Canada, LIUNA Training provides accredited curriculum and certified instructors to more than 70 affiliate training sites. So whether you are a demolition contractor looking for laborers who not only can cut and burn, but also have an asbestos license, LIUNA Training says it can meet any demand.


With a wide variety of training courses coupled with independent, third-party accreditation, a local LIUNA affiliate training facility can address job site specific skillsets in demolition, construction, environment, safety and leadership.

LIUNA Training actively promotes an employer partnership that provides a steady stream of new workers to the demolition industry through approved apprenticeship programs. With its ability to satisfy a wide variety of industry needs, LIUNA trains laborers who can meet most employers’ apprenticeship requirements. Everything from paperwork and Equal Employment Opportunity requirements to mandatory training, data tracking and more are handled by a LIUNA Training affiliate.

LIUNA Training supports ongoing job-site-specific training and career-long upgrades in education and skills acquisition for journeyworkers. As technology in the industry continues its rapid advance and safety requirements are altered on a regular basis, contractors face a constant challenge to keep their workforce current and compliant.

LIUNA Training also assists contractors with the development of future foremen and superintendents. A contractor’s key job site personnel have the necessary knowledge and productivity, but those assets are merely the foundation of what makes them so valuable. These employees also are well versed in effective communications and managing workflow, intangibles that are essential in keeping a job site humming and efficient. LIUNA Training has in place foreman and superintendent training that builds upon a worker’s skills and knowledge to provide all the qualities that make up a quality job-site leader.

LIUNA Training and its North American network of training facilities work directly with contractor personnel and company owners to gather their industry insights and experience, thereby assuring they get exactly what they’re in the market for.


Don Collier, operations manager from Milburn LLC, a full-service demolition, dismantling and recycling contractor based in Hillside, Illinois, took part in LIUNA Training’s skill standards development for the demolition and deconstruction training program.

“I think LIUNA’s doing the right thing by getting people who have been in the workforce to develop its curriculum in the correct way,” Collier says. He says he would hire a journeyman who has gone through LIUNA’s program over other job candidates “because I know we are getting somebody who has baseline knowledge.”

LIUNA Training’s curriculum is independently accredited. Skill standards, subject matter experts, pilot testing materials, video development and instructor training are all performed at the highest standards, according to the organization. The results are a demolition training program that is taken directly from the place it matters most: the job site.

“I think LIUNA’s doing the right thing by getting people who have been in the workforce to develop its curriculum in the correct way.” – Don Collier, Milburn LLC

LIUNA Training’s Demolition/Deconstruction program is designed to bring workers to a productive and safe level through classroom and hands-on training. The foundational training starts with the Demolition/Deconstruction course itself, where workers gain general knowledge including safety, project planning, site control and material handling before moving on to deconstruction techniques, mechanical demo equipment, bridge demolition and special conditions.

Next up is Cutting and Burning training that includes Fire Watch, “high burning,” oxy-fuel cutting, plasma arc cutting, and cutting with Exo-Thermic lances. Hands-on practice dominates this course by focusing on the many different cutting activities laborers perform on the job.

The Demolition/Deconstruction and Cutting and Burning courses are used in concert with LIUNA Training’s extensive menu of related courses, all of which are tied to the demolition industry:

  • OSHA 10 and 30 hour
  • Targeted Safety (including fall protection, respiratory protection, hearing protection)
  • Certification and Awareness in Environmental Remediation and Hazard Recognition
  • Pneumatic Tools
  • Hoisting and Rigging
  • Scaffold Building
  • Rough Terrain Forklift
  • Skid Steer
  • Aerial Lift

These are just a few of the many courses available to contractors. Each LIUNA affiliate training facility will work with a company to develop project-specific training if needed. LIUNA Training can make its training as broad or as narrow in scope as necessary to fit a contractor’s or business owner’s needs.

This type of versatility is made possible by the interconnectivity and standardized approach across LIUNA Training’s affiliate sites. Together over 300 instructors with a variety of experience and skill sets can be called upon to offer assistance. An instructional pool of this magnitude is made stronger by LIUNA Training’s American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited Instructor Certification Program. This industry-first, career-long annual training program is designed to ensure the most qualified instructors in the construction industry can be found at a LIUNA affiliate training facility.

“Given the scope of responsibilities contractors face every day, LIUNA Training and our affiliated TrainUp sites provide a wide variety of programs and services that help ease the burden from the many training and regulatory requirements employers face,” LeConche says. “We are here to service our contractor partners by providing the industry’s best apprenticeship, journeyworker and leadership training.”

Regardless of their company’s business plan, their local affiliate LIUNA training facility can truly be a one-stop shop. Whether the company has a specialized scope of work or if it is looking to expand beyond traditional demolition, LIUNA Training’s network can provide support.

“Our motto at Milburn is safety first, and having gone through this process with LIUNA Training, I know safety is going to be its first goal too,” Collier says.

LIUNA Training is set up in a way that allows a demolition contractor to shop for all its job site needs.

“At Milburn we won’t have to spend, from a company standpoint, as much of my time and as much of our money to lose production on safety training programs,” Collier says. “LIUNA Training already has it covered.”

The article was submitted by LIUNA Training and Education Fund, the training arm for the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), based in Pomfret Center, Connecticut. More information is available at www.liunatraining.org.