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Through upgraded and improved union training programs, our apprentices are learning more, earlier and in a way that translates more directly to the jobsite than ever before. In October, the North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund technical coordinator Ziven Drake and instructor Pat Paul accompanied 13 pile driver apprentices to the New Jersey facility, which opened in 2019, and is operated by the Northeast Carpenters Apprenticeship Fund.
The Local 56 members – ranging from first year to fourth year apprentices – spent four days training at the 15-acre site and were introduced to the fundamentals of sheet pile installation, as well as various welding and burning techniques. They also worked together as a team to construct a small cofferdam, each taking turns to signal the crane and “run work” on the mock jobsite.
“My experience in New Jersey was amazing. It was the first time I worked with a crane up close and personal. It gave me the opportunity to work on my craft with the hand signals,” said Joshua Grigsby, first-year pile driver apprentice. “I learned a lot more about the importance of safety for myself but also for my union brothers and sisters. The instructors were all great with communicating the knowledge down to me. It was also cool for the first time being able to cut sheets with the torch. I’m already looking forward to going back in February.”
Due to the hands-on training and expert instruction they receive, Local 56 apprentices leave the facility with more confidence and a higher level of ability that provides contractors in our region with a prepared, productive, and growing workforce.
“This pile driver training initiative is yet another great example of how the UBC is using its cumulative training knowledge to create a state-of-the-art training center that is second-to-none,” said Tom Fischer, Executive Director of the North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund.
“I’d like to say a huge thanks to the training staff in Hammonton including Steve Fanelli, Ed Pomykacz, Steve Lachawiec and Tim Waring for making the week an incredible learning opportunity for some of our newest members,” said Drake. “We all had a great, safe week!”