Local 18 Indianapolis breaks ground on new JATC Training Center
Insulators International Staff — Fri, Sep 29, 2023 @ 10:09 AM
HFIAW Local 18 Indianapolis is reaching new heights following the groundbreaking ceremony for their new Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) center.
Local 18 faced an uncertain future when the building where their previous training facility was located was sold. This left them needing a dedicated location for their registered apprenticeship program.
As a temporary solution, training classes were held in the old Union Hall, which unfortunately lacked the necessary space to accommodate more than 10-12 apprentices and a single instructor.
This situation forced Local 18 to conduct additional training sessions in two other locations. Besides the old Union Hall, classes were held at Ivy Tech and the current Union Hall.
Building a new facility
Recognizing the need to consolidate their training efforts and provide a more conducive learning environment, the Local 18 leadership embarked on a mission to build a new JATC center.
Their vision was to bring all apprentices and instructors together in one location, within walking distance of the current Union Hall. This new center needed to address previous space limitations and offer a host of other training benefits.
Local 18 Business Manager Jason Smith emphasized the importance of JATC programs, which he called the bedrock of not only Local 18, but all Locals within the International Union, providing a strong foundation for industry growth and improvement.
“Our new JATC training center grants Local 18 total control over their training for the first time, enabling us to offer comprehensive and enhanced training to apprentices and mechanics,” Smith said. “I look forward to showcasing the facility to members, contractors, community leaders and political connections, demonstrating the capabilities of our JATC and the Insulators Union as a whole.”
Plans for the new JATC center include installing live mock-up systems and showcasing various aspects of the insulation trade. This hands-on approach will allow apprentices to experience insulation’s full process and benefits, including working with chill water pipes and understanding their significance.
The center, spanning an impressive 10,000 square feet, will offer ample space for training and future expansion.
Expanded apprenticeship program
Once construction of the facility is complete, Local 18 will be able to expand their apprentice classes. No longer constrained by limited space, they can now accommodate multiple classes simultaneously, boosting the number of apprentices they can train.
The goal, according to Local 18 JATC Coordinator Todd Conn, “is to increase class sizes from the current 10-12 to a range of 20-30 apprentices per class.”
This expansion will ensure a steady influx of skilled workers and help meet the growing demand in the industry within the Local 18 jurisdiction.
Anticipated opening and future prospects
The new JATC training center is expected to open its doors to apprentices on the weekend following Labor Day, marking a significant milestone for Local 18.
Local 18 President Kim Patrick expressed her gratitude to the officers and members for their unwavering support throughout the journey.
"This new facility signifies a profound investment in the apprenticeship program and the organization’s future,” she said.
Local 18 firmly believes the new JATC center will pave the way for increased membership. The upgraded training facilities will attract more aspiring individuals to join the apprenticeship program, providing them with valuable skills and opportunities for growth.
By showcasing the new facility to the public, including teachers, potential apprentices and politicians, Local 18 aims to raise awareness about the mechanical insulation trade and the benefits of their Registered Apprenticeship Program.
A celebrity appearance
During the groundbreaking ceremony, the leadership of Local 18 was joined by Blue, the mascot for the Indianapolis Colts. Blue was there to hype up the crowd, increase awareness of the Local and as an added bonus, help move some dirt.
The new JATC training center represents a source of immense pride and accomplishment for the Brothers and Sisters of Local 18. It signifies their commitment to nurturing and improving the skills of their workforce, ultimately benefiting both the Insulators and the industry as a whole.
Local 18 eagerly looks forward to exhibiting their trade and the new facility, making it an asset for future generations of Union Mechanical Insulators in the Hoosier State.