by Jeff Phillips, Springfield

First, I want you to thank the Daily Citizen for its reporting on our member, Cijie Potts, and her inspiring story of accomplishment since joining Laborers Local 663 and going to work for DeWitt and Associates. She really is someone to celebrate and admire.

I’d also like to add some additional context to the opportunities we offer to people like Cijie, who only want to support themselves and their families. Like any industry, our people come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

People coming out of the justice system are among the many people Local 663 finds coming to us looking for the good pay and benefits of a union laborer. We need them and everyone else we recruit to help us meet the demand of the coming increase in work from the infrastructure bill President Biden signed last year. We visit high schools, vo-tech schools, community job fairs and Department of Corrections facilities in our efforts to find the people we need to provide our contractors with the safest, best trained and most skilled laborers in the construction industry.

We’re proud of our members and the important work they do building our communities.

Jeff Phillips is the Fair Contracting Monitor/Outreach Manager for Heavy Construction Laborers Local 663.