Washington-Area Industry and Labor Leaders Discuss Job Creation, Training, and Innovation During Tour Of Sheet Metal Workers Local 66 Training Facility In Everett
June 29, 2012
Leaders from Washington’s biopharmaceutical industry, labor unions, and state legislature joined today at the Western Washington Sheet Metal Joint Apprenticeship Training Center in Everett to discuss ways to work together to advance the goals of job creation, worker training and medical innovation. The group toured the state-of-the-art training facility and saw first-hand the role that union apprenticeship and certification programs play in providing the state’s biopharmaceutical industry with a skilled workforce.
“Every year, building and construction trades unions spend over $800 million in training across the country – all of it from private funding,” Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local Union 66 Business Manager Eric Martinson said. “New discoveries and new cures create the need for new facilities here in Washington, and we want to make sure that our members are ready to go to work and meet the exacting standards of the biopharmaceutical industry.”
Before the tour, Washington State Representative Derek Stanford shared his commitment to keeping Washington’s biopharmaceutical industry competitive in the global market. “Washington’s biotech industry supports 77,000 jobs, while its goods and services contribute more than $11 billion to the state’s economy,” Stanford said. “I commend the unions and companies in this important industry for finding a way to work together, and I am committed to doing what I can to support this partnership in ways that will help create jobs, save lives and boost the economy here in Washington.”
Jeff Gombosky, Washington State PhRMA representative, spoke to the industry’s unsurpassed workforce. “No matter what role they play, the men and women who work in the biopharmaceutical sector are bound by their dedication to keeping this industry at the cutting edge of innovation,” Gombosky said. “Whether it’s the scientist who toils in the lab to discover the next cure or the trade unionist who builds, renovates and maintains our facilities, these workers make real contributions every day to advancing our state’s economy and our nation’s public health.”
The event was coordinated by the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA) and We Work for Health. PILMA is a coalition of companies and unions in the biopharmaceutical industry that promotes policies to create jobs, keep the industry competitive and advance medical innovation. We Work for Health is an organization that works at the state and national level to educate the public about the everyday contributions of employees in the biopharmaceutical industry.