July 16, 2021 Fran LeFort
More than 500 skilled trades union workers will participate in national training programs on the Washtenaw Community College campus over the next two weeks as hands-on instruction resumes following the pandemic.
The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers kicks off its annual training Sunday afternoon with a welcome reception and check-in, followed by a week of classroom and laboratory instruction. Topics will range from basic computer skills and fall prevention and safety to crane signaling and the latest approaches in installation, maintenance and repair of single-ply roofing systems.
Roofers Union International President Kinsey M. Robinson and WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca held a ceremonial contract signing in August 2019 to kick off the partnership, but the Roofers' first visit to campus in summer of 2020 was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As many as 120 workers from 22 states are expected to attend the July 19-23 National Instructor Training Program.
Days later, nearly 400 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and National Electrical Contractors Association members will participate in their unions' training program being hosted on the WCC campus July 25-30.
WCC is also leading virtual training for two other skilled trade unions that have previously held summer instruction in Ann Arbor. The Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons International Association had an estimated 125 participants in its virtual training on July 12-16.
The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry is expected to have more than 1,700 participants in its training on August 9-13.
Each union's annual “train the trainer” programs help journeymen and women stay at the forefront of knowledge and skills required to work safely and to excel in their fields with everchanging technological advancements.