On Tuesday, July 7th, the House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 1129, introduced by Representative Stephen F. Lynch (MA-09), by a vote of 329-75. The legislation would authorize the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to provide annual grants for the development of regional ironworker training programs for members of federally-recognized Indian tribes.

“As a former Ironworker and a card-carrying member of Boston’s Ironworkers Local 7 Union, it was with great pride that I introduced this bill,” Lynch said. “This legislation builds on the long-standing relationship between ironworkers and Native Americans to provide opportunities to pursue quality construction careers.”

H.R. 1129 is modeled after a highly-successful ironworker training program geared towards Native Americans based in Broadview, Illinois. The result of a strong partnership between the Federal Government’s Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Ironworkers International Union, the Broadview program provides highly-specialized training in ironworking skills, related shop classes, and on-the-job education to Native Americans nationwide. Graduates are then placed as apprentices at local ironworker unions throughout the country.

Congressman Lynch’s legislation will facilitate the building of regional training centers throughout the United States, providing graduates with the training and skills necessary to secure good jobs and a stable income to support themselves and their families.

Lynch added, “I extend my thanks to Chairman Rahall and Ranking Member Hastings for their assistance and support for this legislation.”