Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen Tours IBEW Local 26

On Monday, March 26, 2018 Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen toured International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 26’s 30,000 square foot training facility in Lanham, Maryland.

The event, hosted by IBEW Local 26 and PILMA, highlighted how the biopharmaceutical industry and labor work together in Maryland to build new facilities, stimulate job growth, encourage innovation, support the local economy and create life-saving cures.

Learn more about the tour here and the video below.



Congressman Tom MacArthur Tours IUOE Local 825 in Dayton, NJ

On May 12, 2017 Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney toured the Operating Engineers Local 825 training center in Dayton, New Jersey.

The event, hosted by We Work for Health NJ, the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey, Local 825 and PILMA, highlighted the rigorous training and apprenticeship programs that prepare members to build and retrofit biopharmaceutical facilities where new treatments and cures are discovered and manufactured.

Learn more about the tour here and the video below.

LillyPad: Why Businesses and Labor Need to Work Together

Kathy Bilotas, State Government Affairs Advisor at Eli Lilly and Company authored the following post following the PILMA facility tour at Local 51 in East Providence, Rhode Island.

Click here to view the post on the LillyPad website.

Earlier this fall, I joined labor leaders, biopharmaceutical company representatives and Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo for a tour of the training center facility at Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 51 in East Providence, Rhode Island. What brought these seemingly unrelated groups together, you ask?  To demonstrate the importance of business, labor and government coming together to create smart policies to encourage economic growth.

In order to discover and produce life-saving medicines and cures, the biopharmaceutical industry demands exacting standards for their research and manufacturing facilities. With each new drug trial, whole facilities must be wiped clean, surfaces must be sterilized and entire systems must be replaced. High-skilled labor is a critical factor when building and retrofitting biopharmaceutical facilities. We can’t afford to discontinue a trial or start over in the discovery process because of cross contamination or an uncontrolled factor.

The building construction trades invest more than $1 billion a year in training their members to learn the latest technology and cutting-edge techniques. For nearly 14 years, the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA) has united labor unions in the building construction trades and the biopharmaceutical industry with the shared goals of expanding the economy, creating high-quality union construction jobs, and fostering innovation. The facility tour, organized by PILMA, Rhode Island AFL-CIO and UA Local 51,  highlighted some of these investments. The video below shows a sneak peek at the facility tour.

As the facility tour demonstrated, the building trades customize their apprenticeship training programs to the specific needs of biopharmaceutical companies. Local 51 has a training room dedicated to the installment and maintenance of piping for anesthesia, oxygen and other compounds vital in hospitals. They know that one mistake in the installation of these systems could cost someone their life.

Behind every apprentice there must be a job; Lilly is proud to work with union contractors and their highly trained skilled workforce for much of our capital expansion and maintenance.  We rely on their skills to build and manage the facilities required for our quest for developing life-saving medicines.

Not only are the building trades the highest-skilled, but they are the safest-trained workforce in the world. Access to skilled workers is essential to the discovery and production of new medicines and cures. Biopharmaceutical companies and the building trades unions depend on one another for continual innovation and for keeping jobs here in the U.S.


Governor Gina M. Raimondo Tours UA Local 51 East Providence Facility

On September 17, 2015 Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo toured the United Association’s Local 51 training center located in East Providence.

The event, hosted by the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, UA Local 51 and PILMA, highlighted the rigorous apprenticeship programs that prepare members to build and retrofit biopharmaceutical facilities.

To learn more about the event click here.


Senator Murphy Tours SMART Local 40 with PILMA in Connecticut

On Thursday, September 25, 2014, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut toured the state-of-the-art training facility at Sheet Metal Workers Local 40 outside Hartford, CT. SMART Local 40 #1

The event was hosted by the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 40, We Work for Health Connecticut and the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor -Management Association (PILMA).

To learn more about the facility tour, click here.

Senator Dick Durbin, Chicago-Area Industry and Labor Leaders Tour Chicago Pipefitters Local 597 Training Facility


United States Senator Dick Durbin (IL) and leaders from Illinois’ biopharmaceutical industry, labor unions, and state legislature joined together at the Chicago Pipefitters Local 597 Training Center in Mokena to discuss ways to advance the goals of job creation, worker training and medical innovation in Illinois. The event showcased the facility’s top-flight clean room and highlighted how the biopharmaceutical industry and labor work together in Illinois to build new facilities, stimulate job growth, encourage innovation, support the local economy and create new, life-saving cures.

Click here to view PILMA’s recap of Senator Durbin’s tour.


“The pharmaceutical industry can tell us, ‘this is what’s coming next, this is the technology change, this is what you have to teach your apprentices,’”

– Tom Villanova, Chicago Building Trades President

PILMA Cohosts Senator Menendez Tour of New Jersey Iron Workers Training Facility

April 2012

The biopharmaceutical industry provides groundbreaking cures worldwide and is a significant economic driver in New Jersey.

In 2010, over 50,000 jobs in New Jersey were directly supported by the life sciences industry, and data from The Healthcare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ) shows a combined $53.5 billion total economic impact in New Jersey by HINJ member companies in 2009 and 2010.

Facilities like the one in Springfield train skilled craftsmen and women to build efficient, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities that help foster innovation in the industry. To encourage medical innovation, trade unions invest over $800 million annually, at no taxpayer expense, to teach the latest techniques and skills to their workers.

As a result, pharmaceutical companies have a pool of highly skilled workers at their fingertips.

New Jersey is home to more pharmaceutical companies than any other state in the country, or any other country in the world. The pharmaceutical and medical technology industry is a major factor in creating a thriving economy in New Jersey, as well as making New Jersey a leader in research and development.

HINJ works closely with organized labor to raise awareness, understanding and public support for the research based pharmaceutical and medical technology industry.


“Organizations like the District Council of Northern New Jersey are crucial for our workers and our local economy. We need to focus on training workers for skilled jobs like building efficient and energy saving biopharmaceutical facilities in our state.”

– Senator Menendez


Rep. Derek Standford Tours Local 66 Sheet Metal Workers Facility in Washington

Rep. Derek Standford Tours Local 66 Sheet Metal Workers Facility in Washington

SMWIA Local 66 Business Manager Eric Martinson led members of PILMA, We Work for Health and Rep. Derek Stanford (D) on a tour of the Western Washington Sheet Metal Joint Apprenticeship Training facility.

“Our members are committed to the craft. It’s not a job. It’s a career.”

– Eric Martinson, business manager of SMWIA Local 66, which runs the Everett training center.

Congressman Carson Praises Unions, Companies Collaborative Approach to Jobs and Innovation in Indiana’s Bioscience Sector

Congressman Carson Praises Unions, Companies Collaborative Approach to Jobs and Innovation in Indiana’s Bioscience Sector

Jeff Stinson of Iron Workers Local 22 showing Rep. Carson and Mike O’Connor of Eli Lilly and Company the welding operation at the training center

On Monday, December 20, 2010, the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA) hosted Congressman Andre Carson (D-IN) at a tour of a state-of-the-art training facility run by Iron Workers Local Union 22 in Indianapolis. The event, cosponsored by PILMA partner Hoosiers Work for Health, brought together leaders from industry, labor and government to focus on job creation and innovation Indiana’s bioscience sector.

Local Union 22 and Eli Lilly have worked together for years to keep Indiana at the forefront of innovation and job growth in the pharmaceutical industry. Before the tour, Local 22 Business Manager Jeff Stinson and Eli Lilly and Company representative Mike O’Connor both addressed the group and spoke to the success of this partnership.

Rep. Carson speaking with Kristin Jones, President & CEO of Indiana Health Industry Forum, and an instructor at the Iron Workers Local 22 training center.
“By securing our state’s bioscience sector, we can ensure that Indiana can remain a fortress of high-paying jobs, economic growth and innovation well into the future,” Stinson said. “This training center highlights our commitment to providing the dedicated, highly-skilled workforce needed to support this bioscience-rich state.”

Congressman Carson also praised the unions and companies for their collaborative approach and noted the critical role that a highly-skilled and trained workforce plays in the state’s innovation economy. “If Hoosiers are to be competitive in our future economy we need to sustain our highly-skilled workforce,” said Rep. Carson. “With Indiana having the second highest concentration of biopharmaceutical jobs in the nation, this training facility will provide the needed support to further develop our workers and the life sciences industry.”

Rep. Carson speaks to the crowd at the Iron Workers Local 22 training center.

Indiana is home to more than 500 life sciences companies. These companies provide jobs for a wide range of professionals—from construction workers and engineers who build the facilities to the sanitation workers, groundskeepers and administrative professionals who keep the plants running. If the U.S. is to remain competitive, it is imperative that life science industry leaders, such as Indiana, secure their position as a center of innovation.

Click here to read coverage of the tour published in The Ironworker Magazine. [need link]