Leading the Charge Overseas and Locally

Gabriel Lucero is always ready to take charge. Starting with the US Marine Corps. he found his way to the Local 872 Training Center. Where Gabriel has excelled to the level of Assistant Project Manager on projects. Many of his family members have represented Laborers Local 872 on job sites too. Joining Local 872 became a reality for him six months ago as new projects like the Stadium and hotel renovations picked up. This is his journey.

What was your experience before joining Local 872?

My diverse background includes serving four years in the United States Marine Corps, over five years in the travel industry, three years in healthcare and most recently with a staffing industry. My last position I served as an Assistant Project Manager focusing on the maintenance and development of large solar projects at various locations (NV, MS, VA & CT) across the country.

Did your previous experiences help you as a member of Local 872?

Absolutely, I’ve been exposed to a variety of working elements. Ranging from a war zone to the corporate world, giving me that versatility to adapt to any environment.

How did you learn about Laborers Local 872?

Both of my parents and plenty of family members have either worked or are currently working with Local 872. I’ve always had exposure to the Laborers Union, but it wasn’t until six months ago that I really started to look at it more in depth. Due to all the new exciting projects such as Raider’s Stadium, the baseball stadium and all the changes on the strip!

What questions did you have when you joined Local 872 and how did they get answered?

The most important question (for me) was stability.  However, after speaking with family members and Marco Hernandez, I felt joining the Local 872 was a great opportunity. They reiterated the upcoming projects and the potential opportunities that will come with some change.

What jobs have you been placed on?

I’ve been dispatched with a demolition company and worked at the Aria and Resorts World.

What opportunities came to you because of Joining Local 872?

So far I’ve been doing demolition, which is a great start! But it’s definitely given me motivation to acquire as many certifications as possible. I have an unquenchable thirst for curiosity and the more I learn from my peers, and safety’s just motivates me to continue learning as much as possible.

Raiders Stadium: More than Official

In the Assembly Chambers during the 2016 Special Session, Tommy White told the entire Legislative Branch that “at the end of the day this is about the working class.” On March 28th agreements were finalized confirming what Local 872 has been saying all along. “The Raiders Are Coming!” President of the Raiders, Marc Badain signed documents alongside the Las Vegas Stadium Authority Board affirming the Raiders’ commitment to building a future in Las Vegas.

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Insight from ESPN

Mark Davis, Owner of the Raiders took the opportunity to recognize frequent guests to the Local 872 Union Hall in comments to ESPN. Davis noted that “You’ve got to give (Nevada) Governor (Brian) Sandoval and (Clark County Commissioner) Steve Sisolak and even Tommy White with the (Laborers Union Local) 872 so much credit for bringing this project together and the jobs they’re creating for Las Vegas and the benefits they’re bringing to that community.” Davis ended by saying “The groundbreaking was really an exciting night. But it’s the ribbon-cutting that I’m looking forward to.” There are expected to be nearly 700 members of Local 872 working at the Stadium at the peak of construction. Statewide, the unemployment rate has gone from 5.9% before the Stadium was announced to 4.9% in the spring of 2018.

8 Questions with Archie Walden

Archie Walden gets a lot of questions. As Director of the Local 872 Training Center, he needs to have the answers. The impact he makes at the Training Center and with members is seventeen years in the making. He encourages everyone to exceed their own potential but remains firmly honest. Unwavering commitments to safety and integrity require him to maintain the highest of standards. The Facility has grown under his leadership all while Archie remains open to members seeking to grow with Local 872.

What Does the Director of the Training Center Do?

“I schedule classes for members, journeymen and apprentices preparing them for upcoming jobs, getting apprentices especially ready to face the world and their new careers in construction. I also manage the application process.”

How do you get in the General Construction Program?

“Applications will become available again from March 1st to 30th. For those of you interested in getting an application, the process is simple. You come in and pick up an application and turn it back in at the time printed on the application. When you turn in the application you must have I.D., your birth certificate, a high school diploma or GED or Transcript with a graduation date. Once these are received you will be scheduled for an assessment exam and then an interview. Successful applicants score 70 points or more between all three items to be eligible for the general construction program. Once you are in the program you do your two-week Bootcamp and you become one of the apprentices here for Local 872.”

What is Happening at the Training Center?

“Right now we are gearing up for a lot of new things. We have new career events, we just finished hosting a career fair event with Western Apprenticeship Coordinators Association (WACA), and Merging Vets and Players (MVP) which is [the fighter] Randy Couture’s program. Carpenters were part of the program and Local 12 Operating Engineers were here for a good turn out. We also hosted a Center Ring Boxing tournament in conjunction with the job fair.

We have upcoming events at the OWINN Office [the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovations) which is the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board, speaking to high school kids who may not be ready to go into college but are ready to find a career right now. We want to offer them that opportunity here at Local 872 getting them involved in construction because they are going to be our future no matter which way we look at it. They are the ones that are going to be building the skyline of Southern Nevada so it is good for us to get them involved in the programs right now.”

What are the Benefits of Continuing to Take Advantage of Training?

“Continued training for a construction worker makes you more marketable to an employer. If you have one skill you will work on one job if you have multiple skills you will work on multiple jobs. The most important thing about training is that it keeps you employed on the job site. It gives you better opportunities for advancement and better pay. Each step plays a different part of training. When you go out there and learn how to start work with concrete the first thing you are going to learn is how to make the base, then start making the forms and compaction. All before pouring even starts. If you learn each step you have a leg up on everyone at the job site. The most important part of that is learning how to estimate how much concrete you need. There is a formula for it if learned, those kinds of things you will always get yourself on a job site.”

How Much does it Cost to Take Classes at the Local 872 Training Center?

“As a member of any local trade union no matter if you are going through an apprenticeship program or if you are a journeyman within that Union all the classes are free to you because you are already paying for those classes. Contractors pay into our trust fund which goes into the Training Facility and if you are not taking advantage of those classes you limit opportunities for employment.”

Some journeymen who have been in the field for 20 years did not know this Center existed until recently when they had to take their OSHA 10 classes, but once they came back in they found all these other classes that are available for them and increased their marketability on the job site. These classes are free for you, you should take advantage with every chance you got. If you are out of work just sitting at home with nothing to do come down and take a forklift class, a class on asbestos training, or hazardous worker class. These classes all get you prepared for the new jobs that are coming up here in the future.”

Which Classes Fill the Fastest?

“A popular class that we have at the Training Center is the asbestos class where you are not only learning to identify the different types of asbestos, but you also learn how to work around it, and also learn how to safely remove asbestos from the worksite. You learn how to identify different types of asbestos such as friable and non-friable. You learn how to set up a containment field, how to work around it, how to dispose of it, and how to clean yourself up after you are finished working around it. Those are some of the most important safety aspects of working around asbestos.

Other classes we have are forklift classes. Where you learn how to operate a forklift, which is different from learning how to drive a forklift. You learn how to read a load chart to determine how high you can pick up a load without tipping the forklift over. These are important on a job site because you do not want to have an accident that could not only hurt yourself but also your fellow coworkers out there.

When you are in these classes be mindful of what you are there for. Pay attention and be involved in the class to learn as much as you can because these classes are not just for our edification but yours and your coworkers.”

Are There New Classes Getting Added to the Schedule?

“I would like to mention the traffic control technician and Traffic Control Supervisory classes where already certified Flaggers will learn how to do traffic control setup and maintenance on job sites and on the roads which bring advancement from being a Flagger. We also have the mining program opening back up with Meric Edgel. We had that program years ago teaching the rudiments of working in a mine shaft. So you will need to get your MSHA certification working in that class. We also have the Forman Preparedness class coming up soon. We will be taking Journeymen and Apprentices on the job site that we see have ambition, motivation, and the ability to think forward. We will promote them to some of our contractors as Foreman in the near future.”

How Has The Center Grown?

“The Training Center has grown lately. We have a few new things coming up. We are starting to teach more classes and our instructors are becoming certified teachers outside of Nevada working through the American National Standard Institute (ANSI). So, kudos to David Pruitt, Anthony Valdez, Leon Harris, and Meric Edgel.

We are also becoming a lot more involved in the community. We are working with Center Ring Boxing to rebuild a firehouse. We are working with Merging Vets and

Players (MVP) getting them involved in the programs. We are working with Hope For Prisoners at the Florence McClure Women’s Prison and High Desert Prison.

We have instructors teaching classes to people that are going to be coming out of incarceration over the next three to six months to get them prepared for a career here at Laborers Local 872. These are programs we made available for our community because we want to see our community grow and advance. Through programs like this we give everyone a fair shot at getting involved in the new projects coming up in the next three to ten years.

We also work with Entravision / Univision on a few things. We do a back to school drive and a toy drive once a year which has been big for the community. Local 872 has been all over the place lately working with Construction versus Cancer and there are multiple events coming up.”

What Opportunities Can a Job in Construction Bring?

“The opportunities the come with a career in construction make the world your oyster. I myself started off as an apprentice 17 years ago. A career in construction is the best place any person can look to make a name, to make a career choice, or to make a good decision for themselves. Starting off as an apprentice can lead you anywhere you want to go. There is a college degree available, there is a career path set in stone if you have the ambition, the initiative, the drive, and work ethic to go after it.  Apprenticeship is ‘earn while you learn.’ We send you out to work with a contractor and you come back periodically to take classes. From an apprentice, you go to a journeyman, if you have the desire and initiative you can become a foreman, then a superintendent. If you go back for your college degree, as I did, you can become a project manager, you can go into construction estimation if you have further drive you can become a business owner if you decide to. The people who own PENTA were laborers and carpenters but look where they are right now. So, whatever you want out of life in construction, the opportunity is there and available to you but you need the drive and ambition to go after it.”

Watch the Las Vegas Lights FC from Section 872

Bringing the Raiders to Las Vegas was only the beginning of Local 872’s involvement with professional Sports. The Las Vegas Lights FC of the USL will be renovating Cashman Field once the 51s officially relocate to Sumerlin. In the meantime, Cashman Field will be home to both teams. As part of a constantly growing partnership, members will have access to Section 872 at every Lights FC home game. Tickets are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. The first three games against MLS teams have provided exciting family-friendly fun. Tickets are available at the Red Rock Union Hall and can also be requested at the Training Center.

Lights FC, marco, hardest working playerMembers of Local 872 enjoy the game unlike any other fans. Sideline seating is available for everyone in Section 872 giving members a view from field-level. The Lights enter and exit the field through the Section. Many players stop to sign jerseys and pose for pictures. After each game, the hardest working player awarded the Laborer Trophy too.

Local 872 Supporting Veterans

Randy Couture is a veteran of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division and the UFC. Since his first fight in 1997, Randy Couture has won 6 UFC Championship Titles. To this day he is the only UFC competitor to hold titles in both the Heavyweight and Light-Heavyweight divisions. Randy Couture has shifted his focus from fighting to help other Veterans and retired athletes by founding the Las Vegas Chapter of Merging Vets and Players (MVP).

vargas, hawk, caprenters, MVP, randy, local 872Local 872 has joined Randy Couture and MVP supporting a “program designed to address challenges that many combat veterans and professional athletes face when transitioning their service/professional life towards a new mission in their civilian life.” Local 872 and community partners support creating such a place for veterans and athletes. Xtreme Couture MMA located on 4055 W Sunset Rd opens to Veterans free of charge every Thursday to train and help each other continue to build fulfilling lives of service and strength.

“The goal of this is to give them a new team to tackle the transition together.” – Randy Couture

MVP’s program is geared around Veteran’s and athlete’s shared strengths and experiences.

Former Combat Veterans and former professional athletes are matched for “weekly physical fitness and peer-to-peer support sessions … The goal of this is to give them a new team to tackle the transition together.” Randy Couture also thanked the members of Local 872 for their constant support of Veterans issues. While attending the February Monthly Meeting at the Local 872 Training Center, Couture said twenty to thirty Veterans a week benefit from having MVP in Las Vegas. “Getting them working out again breaks down some walls [and] gets them feeling a little better about themselves” according to Couture who has led MVP programs in Las Vegas for the past year.

Creating a place that plays to the strengths of Veterans helps reintroduce them to civilian life.  When recognizing the Local 872 Executive Board Randy Couture said Veterans “are not broken, [but] are special, [and] telling them they are broke is not the way to get through to them.” The Executive Board of Local 872 has branched out into many Veterans programs ranging from MVP to Veteran’s Village and Local 872’s own Helmets to Hardhats initiative.

Monthly Meetings

 

Many important topics are discussed at Monthly Meetings. New opportunities and jobs are introduced, and special guests also visit with exciting news. Over the past months, Governor Brian Sandoval brought thanks and encouragement for Local 872’s role in bringing the Raiders to Las Vegas. Attorney General candidate Wes Duncan visited the Union’s Thanksgiving Celebration during the November Monthly Meeting. He spoke about his Father’s decades-long Union career, and how it shaped a tradition of public service.   

marco, lombardo, sheriff, sisolakIn addition to seeing fellow members and enjoying special guests, Monthly Union Meetings are the place to hear the latest Local 872 news first. A lot of work goes into putting these meetings on. In order to host 300 members the Hall needs to be set up and technical preparations need to be made. Many volunteers spend days leading up to the meeting setting up chairs and coordinating refreshments. Others get to the Hall three hours before the Meeting to make sure everything goes smoothly. Meetings are generally the first Monday of each month, except for June which will be on the 11th and September when there is no monthly meeting due to Labor Day. All meetings and contractual holidays are featured in Local 872’s 2018 Calendar. If you did not receive your calendar in the mail call the Local Union Hall to update or confirm your address.

Entering the Ring

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Recreation facilities in North Las Vegas are getting ready to reopen.

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Volunteers dispose of tile on Linn Lane and Judson Road.

On the corner of Judson Avenue and Linn Lane, outdoor basketball courts and grassy picnic areas are already being enjoyed by neighbors of all ages. With direction from Laborers Local 872, a diligent team of volunteers is revitalizing the rest of the block for the community. Adding to the benefits of having the Cora Coleman Senior Center and Bob Price Community Center around the corner, improvements are being made to childcare space, gymnasiums, and a boxing gym. While most of the work is being done to revitalize existing facilities, an entire firehouse is being repurposed for the amateur boxing gym. Contractors such as J Core and MMC have also donated time and resources. The Gym will also be fully stocked with equipment donated by the Raiders.   

Center Ring Boxing is eager to move in as soon as renovations have been completed to precise specifications. The after-school boxing program trains over fifty kids every day and will be calling 5710 Judson Avenue home. Vice President of Local 872 Marco Hernandez has been involved with the project from the beginning. His vision for a wide open floor plan will enable cardio training and endurance conditioning to take place indoors alongside two regulation boxing rings. All of these are coming together with help from over 30 laborers. “They do not forget to help us out and it means a lot to me,” says Hernandez who has been with volunteers working every day. Some volunteers have dedicated up to 8 hours a day on weekends. Projects like these show the best of Local 872 while benefiting members and their families.

Local 872 Thanks First Responders

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On the night of October 1st, gunfire was reported on the Las Vegas Strip. Over the next twelve hours hospitals would exceed their capacities, the Regional Transportation Commission would shuttle people to safety, and Local 872 sprang into action. While the scene was still active, Business Manager Tommy White called Commissioner Steve Sisolak. Following that conversation, the Union Clinic was ordered open at 3:30 am to accept the first blood donations. Ten sterile rooms were ready by 4:15 am for over 100 donors already in line. The need for blood quickly increased and Local 872 moved operations to United Blood Services on Charleston Boulevard at 5:30 am.

By 8:00 am clinicians were working at full capacity and donations were arriving by the truck-full. All available personnel from the Southern Nevada Laborers Training Facility were called to assist with logistics and manage contributions outside. Safety vests for directing traffic and additional tents to shelter donors arrived from the Union Hall. Soon after, Calls were received from locations in need of donated items. Distribution plans were made to provide relief to locations such as the Metropolitan Police Headquarters and Valley Hospital Medical Center.

Raiders tent nurse photo, local 872Local 872 continues to stand by first responders. Following one of the most challenging weeks in Nevada history. Local 872 partnered with The Latin Chamber of Commerce, Nevada Contractors Association, and the Raiders in hosting a successful event at University Medical Center. Hundreds of doctors, first responders and patients attended the cookout. Volunteers from Local 872 helped with every detail of the event.  “With what these people have been through this is the least we can do. It is important to join Commissioner Sisolak and thank them for their service. Not just during hard times, but whenever possible” one member of Local 872 said after volunteering.