Skip to Content

Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Announces $1,300,000 in Congressionally Directed Funding for Union Apprenticeships in San Antonio

Washington | Arturo C. Olivarez, DC Press Secretary (956-970-1441), August 11, 2023

San Antonio, TX – Today, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) announced $1,300,000 in Congressionally directed funding for union apprenticeships in San Antonio. The funds will be used to purchase equipment and renovate workspaces for the Local 66 International Association of Ironworkers through the City of San Antonio’s Ready to Work apprenticeship program. The equipment includes:

  • A forklift;
  • A scissor lift;
  • A real lift;
  • A spider crane;
  • A gas welding machine;
  • 3 torches;
  • CPR equipment;
  • Connex storage;
  • Desktop mills; and,
  • A lathe.

Ready to Work is an employer-led program that provides workforce development for 28,000 San Antonio residents, including youth, veterans, and persons with disabilities. The program focuses on upskilling through apprenticeships and partners with local unions, such as the Local 66 International Association of Ironworkers, the Communications Workers of America, North America’s Building Trade Unions, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

“A strong, well-trained workforce is key to our community’s success. I secured this Congressionally directed funding to provide the Local 66 International Association of Ironworkers and the City of San Antonio with the equipment and workspace they need to forge the next generation of ironworkers,” said Congressman Cuellar, a Senior Member of the House Appropriations Committee. “With this investment, San Antonio’s Ready to Work apprenticeship program will help provide workforce training for those in our community that need it most. Thank you to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, San Antonio Director of Workforce Development Michael Ramsey, and President Rudy Rodriguez of the Local 66 International Association of Ironworkers for working with me to invest in our workforce. I will continue to stand with the working families of South Texas.”

“A robust apprenticeship effort in San Antonio is vital as we strive to help residents get on track for good-paying jobs with a future,” said Ron Nirenberg, Mayor of San Antonio. “We are deeply grateful that Congressman Cuellar secured these funds to help San Antonians build a brighter future and appreciate his hard work on behalf of our city.”

“On behalf of The Ironworkers Local 66 Organization, we would like to offer our appreciation for considering and delivering this federal funding for our vital Apprenticeship program. The program enables our Local to continue performing at a level necessary to compete in today’s industry by training on the most up-to-date safety regulations, comprehensive hands-on material, and equipment handling,” said Rudy Rodriguez, President of the Ironworkers Local 66. “Whether for safety specifications or advanced features, the ever-changing tool requirements are where our Apprentices will benefit most from this federal funding. This will allow us to replace much of our ageing equipment for up-to-date advanced equipment and training software necessary to build up the next generation. Thank you again, Congressman Cuellar, for investing in our future. We look forward to providing a safe and productive working environment for future Ironworkers in our South Jurisdiction in the great State of Texas.”

Congressman Cuellar is a strong supporter of American workers. He is a cosponsor of the No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act, which would end the taxpayer subsidization of business anti-union activity. He is also a cosponsor of the Tax Fairness for Workers Act, which would make the tax deduction for union dues above-the-line and reinstate the tax deduction for unreimbursed employee expenses.