Project praised for apprenticeship opportunities, family-wage jobs
VANCOUVER — Support for the Vancouver Energy terminal at the Port of Vancouver remains stronger than ever among members and leadership of the building trades unions, who voiced their backing during the port’s third lease hearing Tuesday.
“This project has the backing of a broad cross-section of my colleagues in the IBEW as well as many others in the building trades because it will bring the kind of family-wage jobs and career opportunities that are in short supply to Southwest Washington,” said Mike Bridges, President, Longview/Kelso Building Trades, IBEW 48. “These jobs will be the catalyst for significant economic development gains in this region. We urge the port to continue this lease and to consider the greater economic impact Vancouver Energy will have on this corner of the state.”
Willy Myers, executive secretary for the Columbia Pacific Building Trades, reiterated the level of support for the project and the economic development benefits it would bring to the region.
“The Vancouver Energy project would be a source of excellent family-wage jobs in Southwest Washington, while also serving as a training ground for the next generation of skilled labor in both Washington and Oregon,” said Myers. “Major infrastructure projects such Vancouver Energy are essential for developing apprenticeship programs, which turn into careers in the building trades. That’s the best way to ensure a workforce pipeline that continues to meet all of our infrastructure needs. We need projects like Vancouver Energy and support the continued extension of this lease as we await the final outcome of the regulatory review process.”