The pre-fabricated glass panels used in modern buildings can weigh anywhere from a few hundred pounds to tons. Building trades workers who work with them not only need to know how to install the panels safely, they also need to know how to direct a crane operator, who lifts and moves these gigantic panels. Last Saturday, third-year apprentices at Painters District Council 51’s Finishing Trades Institute (FTI) attended a training on how to move and install such panels. The training was made possible by a grant from the Maryland EARN program. “There is an increasing need for a variety of enhanced technical skills for apprentices and journeyworkers, to ensure that union contractors are the leaders in the industry for quality state-of-the-art work, and have the skilled workforce to prove it,” said FTI DC 51 Apprentice Director Brian Courtien...click below for rest of story.
“These days, construction workers need to have a variety of skills and an interest in lifelong learning as the industry is changing rapidly. Our intent is to ensure that our union apprentices and journeyworkers are prepared for these enhanced-skill jobs and get paid living wages and benefits to do them.” The training also included a crane and union operator from Operating Engineers Local 77, and filming by Mosaic Learning, which provides computer-assisted training and simulation modules for the building trades. The Metro Washington Council’s Community Services Agency is a partner with FTI on the Maryland EARN program, providing recruitment for their pre-apprenticeship program, to bring new low-income residents into these living wage union trades.
- report/photos by Kathleen McKirchy