President's Corner


January 2021 Light at the End of the Tunnel

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Training Season Ready: Extended Night Training and New Classes at the William E. Dugan Training Center

Coordinator Brian Roland and the staff at the Apprenticeship and Skill Improvement Program (ASIP) are always looking for ways to make the Training Center as accessible and accommodating as possible for members learning new skills and brushing up on old ones. With the training season just beginning, staff can already tell this is going to be a busier season than last year. Attendance has been steadily increasing with added classes and the expansion of night training opportunities, and many changes have been made to accommodate more members working hard to make themselves highly trained and employable.

Major changes include at least six new classes, namely, Introduction to Skid-Steer Loaders, Introduction to Demolition, Concrete Pumping, Mass Dirt, and Drone – Levels 1 and 2. The Training Center has also increased the amount of available equipment to make sure every member who needs time on a machine can easily access the one they need. Even the cafeteria has made accommodations due to the increase in night training – it is now open for dinner between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., just before night classes begin. With all of these changes, President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney wanted to make sure the Training Center was able to maintain a quality experience by making it a priority to keep the instructor-student ratio at 5-1.

Many members have to travel to get to the Training Center, so please remember that ASIP offers complimentary hotel accommodations for members traveling more than 30 miles from their home to the Training Center in Wilmington, Illinois. It is because of the members and apprentices who stay overnight that the Training Center began to offer training later in the evening. After considering the number of members who use the complimentary hotel stay, ASIP staff decided to keep the doors open for four more hours a day, and it was an immediate success. Then, when CDL requirements became part of the apprenticeship program, night training really boomed. In a number of night classes, instructors saw attendance jump from 25-30 people during the construction season, to 45-55 and more during the training season. This training season, more night classes are available than ever before in order to meet the demand.

Since 2007, the Training Center has been a symbol of opportunity for many apprentices and long-time members. Staff at ASIP continue to work hard to keep members highly trained, employable, and committed to safety. The Training Center will continue seeking ways to make it worth your time to come out to Wilmington, so invest in yourself and your career and come out for classes this training season – we’re ready for you!

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