Wisconsin's Union Glaziers Have New Training Center
March 4, 2010

On February 1 Painters and Allied Trades District Council No. 7, an affiliate of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), started operating out of its new offices and training center in Big Bend, Wis. The new center has approximately 40,000 square feet of dedicated training space of which about one third is being used for glazing apprentice instruction.

"We are excited to finally be able to offer our glazing contractors a significant improvement in the training of glazing apprentices," says IUPAT training director Adam Holmes. "We hope this will translate into improved profit margins for them, as well as a closer working relationship."

Joel Allen, business representative for IUPAT District Council No. 7 in Big Bend, Wis., explains that the new building more than quadruples the previous training center, and improves accessibility by combining the training ground and offices into one location.

"It is quite impressive, but it is still a big empty space right now," Allen says of the brand new facility. "We've got the skeleton of the glazing mock-up set up right now, and it's huge."

The $40,000+ mock-up currently is being adapted so that apprentices in other trades - drywall finishing and painting apprentices also are trained here - can use it as well.

"We are working toward being able to offer training and certification in the installation of SuperSky skylight systems, as well as point-supported training, in conjunction with Novum Structures. This will be in addition to the storefront, curtainwall, mirror and heavy tempered instruction we do normally," Allen adds.

At this point the district is still waiting for increases in numbers of apprentices, but Allen is optimistic that the new training center will soon be put to good use.

"We had a very large lot going through and of course a lot of them have completed - but we are interviewing a lot of people," he says. He adds, "Work in our area is projected to pick up this spring, and then 2011 is considered to be turnaround year."

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