IIIATF holds annual Trainer Enhancement class in Maryland

The Insulation Industry International Apprentice and Training Fund (IIIATF) gathered instructors from across the U.S. and Canada to conduct its annual Trainer Enhancement training program. The IIIATF holds the Trainer Enhancement program as a way to better instructors by improving their teaching techniques.

The advanced training lasted six-days, from Aug. 12-17, at the Maritime Institute in Maryland. Attendees spent the entire week taking one level of the following five courses: Teaching Techniques 1, 2, 3 and 4, as well as Labor History. In order to complete the program, trainers must attend the Trainer Enhancement program for five consecutive years, as it takes one week each year to progress to the next level.

The five courses ran congruently, as attendees were separated into the appropriate class levels. Many of the sessions included discussions, presentations, examples of new teaching strategies, group work and course assignments. “This training should be viewed as a tool for all of our instructors,” said Local 32 Instructor Derek Vergari. “We attend these to better ourselves as teachers, to increase our skills and to work on weaknesses, so we can be better instructors for our Local.”

Local 18 President Kimberly Patrick, who has been a foreman for much of her career, has also served as an instructor for Local 18 for the last four years and has attended the program each year during that time. “The hardest obstacles to overcome at the training are the insecurities that I have when being around my peers,” said Patrick.

“These trainings have made me more passionate about my career, confident in speaking and an outgoing leader for my Local and my Union. “As the Local 18 President, I now look inward and push myself to work beyond my comfort zone,” she said. “You have to apply what you learn from these trainings and overcome the hurdles along the way.”

Patrick teaches Firestopping and Labor History for her Local. She said she enjoys teaching Labor History because it tells the story of organized labor and the HFIAW to the new apprentices, which hopefully gives them an appreciation for their benefits and their rewarding career. “Because of the Insulators, I am a proud, single income, self-sufficient, secure female,” added Patrick. 

2018 IIIATF Trainer Enhancement


Local 5 Instructor Eddy Pena has attended the training in recent years and is now in the fourth iteration of the Teaching Techniques class. This year, he describes teaching as a growth process. The advanced training ensures he is always growing as an instructor.

“Training is important because the industry is constantly changing, and you should never want to stop learning,” said Pena. “These trainings are always beneficial, and you get to take away a lot of interpersonal and instructional lessons from it. Everyone is enthusiastic about being there, the experience is rewarding and you get to look at situations from a different perspective.”

Pena teaches OSHA-30, Firestopping and he fills in for other instructors as needed for Local 5. When returning home every year after the advanced training, he gets to incorporate the new thought process he has acquired from his peers and the leadership he exemplifies for his Local. “I’ve sacrificed a lot for my career, so I could focus and grow as an Insulator and an instructor,” said Pena. “Being an Insulator and being the best one I can be is everything to me.”

The IIIATF is fortunate to have master trainers within our organization who were able to provide instruction for the Teaching Techniques course. In addition to the professional educators who taught those classes, Tom Mullholland from Local 2 Pittsburgh and Local 17 Training Coordinator Bob McGuckin, from Chicago, each taught a class within the course.

Congratulations to the following Brothers and Sisters who participated and completed the 2018 Trainer Enhancement levels:

Teaching Techniques I: Daniel Kirwin, Local 6; Samuel Tafolla, Local 7; Ben Plachy, Local 17; Austin Boone, Local 18; Brent Diehl, Local 19; Ricky J. Miguez and Dale Sanford, Local 22; James Payne, Local 23; Gus Rodriguez Local 27; Lorenzo Tesoriero, Local 30; Daniel Dodd, Local 32; Dave Gamble, Local 36; Bruce Hankle, Local 40; Ryan Webb, Local 45; Barry E. Kauffman, Local 46; Gustavo Machigua, Local 53; Christopher Harster and Jacob Walker, Local 67; Sabino Arciga, Local 69; Jon Dagnillo and Chris Thompson, Local 74; Joseph A. Torretta, Local 89; Buddy Coryea, Local 92; Phil Poirier, Local 110; and Izaak Bray, Local 133.

Teaching Techniques II: John Surtz, Local 3; Alex Celedon, Local 5; Jonathan Hughes, Local 8; William Hamman and Anthony Viscuso, Local 16; Nick Feipel and Todd Javorski, Local 17; Jacob Rainey, Local 23; Bob Wright, Local 25; Kyle Becker, Local 46; Dan Baxter, Local 69; Mikell Autrey and Steve Thompson, Local 92; Robert Sheck, Local 118; Jacob Countryman, Local 127; Joshua Sherrard, Local 131; and Anthony Schauer and Clay Starck, Local 133.

Teaching Techniques III: Travis Lopez and Daniel Ruiz, Local 5; Mike Nettekoven, Local 7; Kevin Clark, Local 17; Robert Swords, Local 18; Brent L Palko and Jason Springer, Local 23; Jim Hoos and Cody Pugh, Local 24; Scott M. Coghlan, Local 28; Andrew Kurowski, Local 30; Robert W. Vaught IV, Local 37; Micah Tedder, Local 55; Mark Theiss, Local 80; Angelo Busto, Leoniel Busto and Gabriel Vasquez, Local 87; Colby Teel, Local 110; Kale Alvarez, Local 132; and Michael Freidhof, Local 135.

Teaching Techniques IV: Eddy Pena, Local 5; Cynthia Anthony, Local 10; Nicolas Eder, Local 17; Kimberly Patrick and David Price, Local 18; Derek Vergari, Local 32; Ted Jensen, Jr., Local 39; Robert F. Knickerbocker, Local 39; Caleb Cate, Local 73; William Holstein, Local 80; Joe Thomas, Local 86; and Steven Lee Henry, Local 96.

Labor History: Jason E. Perry, Local 3; Jonathan Blaine and Darrell Reddick, Local 16; Ben Frank and Jennifer Frank, Local 17; Joshua Truelove, Local 22; Troy Blass, Local 38; Winston Miles, Local 87; Rodney Yoshikawa, Local 132; and Jeremy Jackson, Local 135.

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