Local 22 Apprentice Program gets support from County
Insulators International Staff — Thu, Jul 20, 2023 @ 12:07 PM
HFIAW Local 22 Houston will make significant strides to enhance its registered apprenticeship program thanks to new funding they will receive as part of a county-wide initiative to support registered apprenticeship programs.
Local 22 plans to invest in new equipment, hire two additional full-time instructors and add new JATC training tools to better prepare future apprenticeship classes for real-world work. Through these efforts, Local 22 aims to provide its apprentices with high-quality training and equip them with the necessary skills to succeed as mechanics.
Harris County, Texas, where Local 22 is based, along with the Texas AFL-CIO, recently announced the $9.1 million commitment to expand access, as well as grow and enhance all registered apprenticeship programs in the area building trades.
Planned upgrades for Local 22 JATC
With Harris County’s investment, the Local 22 JATC plans to purchase sewing equipment to teach apprentices how to fabricate removable pads and blankets. The new sewing machines will be critical in preparing apprentices for work that Local 22 members do on a regular basis. It also allows current journeymen the ability to practice their sewing skills and blanket fabrication.
The Local 22 JATC is also planning to build a complete mock-up of a refinery to familiarize the apprentices with the various components they might encounter. This will provide hands-on opportunities for apprentices and journeymen to work at different heights and varying spaces, helping them to develop the skills they need to succeed in the mechanical insulation refinery work.
Local 22 Business Manager Lacy Wolf, who is also the President of the Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, said other trades will be provided access to the mock-up for training after it is completed.
“It is important for our Local to collaborate with the other building trades in Harris County,” said Wolf.
“This will ensure that all workers in the building trades have access to the training and education they need to succeed.”
The support from Harris County is a “historical investment for registered apprenticeship programs in Harris County,” said Local 22 JATC Training Coordinator Ricky Miguez.
With more funding available, the JATC can train and educate more workers, which will benefit the Local's signatory contractors by increasing their workforce and hopefully growing their market share.
Some of the Harris County funding will be used to purchase new tools and other equipment for the apprenticeship classes, Miguez said, adding he also plans to use some money to purchase gas cards.
“With such a large jurisdiction, many of our apprentices have to travel significant distances to make it to their required training classes,” Miguez said. “Every little bit helps.”
The investment from the Harris County Commissioners and the Texas AFL-CIO is a positive step forward for local workers and the economy. Local 22 is proud to be a part of this investment and the effort to build a well-trained and diverse workforce that will meet the community’s needs for years to come.