In September, HFIAW Local 53 New Orleans opened a brand-new state-of-the-art training center. Located in the lower level of the Local 53 Union Hall in Kenner, La., the building has 2,000-square-feet of training space, both interior and exterior, with additional external storage.
The building was built and outfitted by all union labor from eight of the surrounding building trades Locals. The new training center offers students additional mockups, chilled water systems, additional valves and a tank out back, which are all meant to better train the region’s next generation of mechanics. There are currently 35 apprentices and the new facility has the ability to train 16 apprentices at any given time.
“The officers, trustees and members feel like this facility is the best investment in our future and will bring our training program to the next level,” said Local 53 Business Manager Kris Comeaux. “We are working on an overall revision of the program to increase and better suit the future needs of the Local and the demand for the region.”
General President James McCourt was on hand for the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony. Other guests included Southwest States Conference International Vice President Leo Damaris, former Training Coordinator and Southeast Louisiana Building Trades Secretary Andrew O’Brien, Sr. and former Training Coordinator William Schneider, Sr.
Thanks to everyone who has dedicated time and effort into making the Local 53 Apprenticeship Program better.Cover picture in front of the building from left to right: Instructor and Sergeant-at-Arms Gustavo Machigua, Southeast Louisiana Building Trades Secretary Andrew O’Brien, Sr., JAC Trustee Ryan Bordelon, Business Manager Kristopher Comeaux, Southwest States Conference International Vice President Leo Damaris, JATC Coordinator Carl Wilson, General President James McCourt, JAC Trustee John Matto, Executive Board Member Freddie Hoggatt, Jr., JAC Trustee and Local Vice President Scott Epton, Executive Board Member Brian Mason, Sr., Local President and Organizer Maximus Perdomo, former Training Coordinator William Schneider, Sr., Executive Board Member Charlie Jochum, III, Executive Board Member Steve Randazzo and Executive Board Member Robert Blancher, III.