Today in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) — a partner in the BlueGreen Alliance — announced a joint effort with the Australia’s Plumbing Trades Employee Union (PTEU) to streamline the building industry, reduce the shortage of skilled workers, and fight climate change. The affiliation agreement focuses on joint skills training and employment initiatives in the U.S., Canada and Australia. From the release:
“Emerging technologies and building standards promise to have a significant impact on the efficient delivery of energy and water. It is essential that we share best practices and training as systems, products and technologies begin to standardize globally,” said UA General President William P. Hite. “The UA will initially share its expertise in heavy industry as Australia embarks on expansion of oil and gas refining, and power generation projects. Our experience in training workers for certification in welding, instrumentation installation and calibration is highly valued by our industry.”
Both organizations see an immediate need to share best practices on biofuels, geothermal and trigeneration, which is a power-heat-refrigeration combined system that recycles waste heat and water for other uses. “There is tremendous job growth potential now for building and water infrastructure improvement, as well as alternate and traditional forms of energy generation,” said Hite.
Both the UA and PTEU training programs include a focus on green building along with traditional skills and advanced technologies found throughout the construction industry. The UA offers many Certification Programs including Green System Awareness and Energy Audit to ensure that UA members remain at the forefront of the piping industry. Through the UA University system there are opportunities to attain further credentials, including advanced degrees in areas such as construction supervision and management, and heating/ventilation/air conditioning/refrigeration (HVACR), as well as sustainable technologies. The PTEU trains workers through its Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre in Melbourne, offering a unique approach to cross-training building professionals to look at various systems in an integrated manner. In addition to green plumbing and industrial services, the Australians are trained on the latest innovations in energy and water conservation.