New Training Coordinators attend two-day event

More than 30 training coordinators and other union officers attended the two-day New Coordinators Training held in July at the Hilton Americas–Houston, a few days prior to the start of the 2023 Local Union Officers and Joint Apprentice Conferences and the 2023 Master Apprentice Competition events.

The New Coordinators Training provides valuable insights and essential knowledge to newly appointed Joint Apprenticeship and Training Coordinators (JATC). The training helps equip attendees with the necessary tools and information to excel in their new positions.

With an array of peer speakers, outside presenters and a comprehensive agenda, the training empowered the training coordinators and enhanced their understanding of critical aspects of their responsibilities.

Day One, off to a strong start IMG_2434

During the first session of day one, Insulation Industry International Apprentice and Training Fund (IIIATF)Administrator John L. Stahl and Terry Walsh, the recently retired Training Coordinator for HFIAW Local 1 St. Louis, guided participants through a comprehensive overview of available online tools.

Walsh went into great detail and instruction on how to use the Timecard Manager program on both desktop and mobile devices. This online time-tracking tool tracks the work hours that must be logged in by all registered apprentices.

Walsh and Stahl also reviewed the online instructor manuals available to new coordinators. These manuals were created to help standardize the curriculum for all JATC programs.

EEOC, Compliance Review System 

Walsh then spoke to attendees about the intricacies of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)and the newly implemented Rapids Compliance Review System.

It was repeatedly stressed how important it is for new coordinators to thoroughly understand the compliance requirements and procedures associated with this system.

Veterans joining the building trades 

After lunch on day one, Helmets to Hardhats (H2H)South Regional Manager Rickey Fabra introduced coordinators to the program. He focused on the organization’s mission, goals and initiatives to connect military veterans with career opportunities in the union construction industry.

Coordinators gained valuable insights into the various resources and support provided by H2H to facilitate veterans’ transition into successful civilian careers. The session sparked engaging discussions and highlighted the importance of fostering partnerships with organizations like H2H to recruit more apprentice candidates, promote workforce development and support those who served in the military.

Policies and Procedures 

Former Local 17 Chicago Training Coordinator and now the recently appointed International Organizing Director Robert S. McGuckin was joined by Local 34Minneapolis Training Coordinator Eric Houske to provide an in-depth analysis of the Department of Labor’s (DOL)Apprenticeship Standards, ensuring that coordinators were well-versed in the latest regulations and guidelines. IMG_2421

This session helped establish a strong foundation for practical apprenticeship and apprenticeship fund management.

With input from Walsh and Stahl, the duo also touched on Basic Compliance Considerations for Apprenticeship and Training Programs and guided coordinators through the intricacies of the Trust Agreement. Understanding the terms and provisions of the agreement is crucial for ensuring smooth operations and compliance within the organization.

Houske and McGuckin also touched on the HFIAW insurance policies. Coordinators learned about coverage details, claims procedures and risk management strategies necessary to safeguard the interests of both the organization and member.

The pair also provided an overview of the essential procedures for managing the JATC. They covered critical administrative processes, documentation requirements and communication channels.

"Assisting and presenting during New Coordinators Training has allowed me to give back to the group that had helped me and allowed me to grow over the years,” Houske said.

Taking learning to the next level

Day Two began with IIIATF Assistant Administrator Samuel Tafolla introducing new coordinators to Canvas, a widely used learning management system. Participants gained hands-on experience with the platform, exploring its features and functionalities. The session began the process of training coordinators on the necessary skills to effectively utilize Canvas for training and educational purposes.

Firestopping Curriculum, the first curriculum to be rolled out on the Canvas Platform, was presented to the coordinators with guidance from Tafolla. They explored the content, delivery methods and how to grade apprentices.

Canvas is being introduced as a critical tool to better standardize and unite JATC Coordinators across the entire union.

Budgets, audits and compliance 

Stahl, McGuckin and Walsh then discussed how to create and maintain a JATC budget, sharing their personal experiences from their home Locals. The JATC must thoroughly analyze anticipated costs, including training materials, instructor salaries, facility maintenance and administrative expenses in order to properly manage training funds.

Attendees learned that fostering collaboration between JATC administrators, instructors, and financial professionals can ensure that the budget reflects realistic expectations and promotes financial stability.

The trio also discussed the importance of third-party audits of JATC operations, which can bring credibility and transparency to the financial management processes.

These audits, conducted by independent organizations specializing in financial analysis, thoroughly assess the JATC’s financial records, policies and internal controls. The goal is to identify any irregularities, inefficiencies or areas for improvement.

The group also touched on Department of Labor (DOL) audits and why they play a crucial role in overseeing JATC expenses, ensuring compliance with regulatory guidelines and upholding the integrity of the apprenticeship program.

Access to International emails 

Changing gears, attendees next heard from BMA Media Group representative Sara Park and IIIATF Administrative Assistant Karen Scott who provided instruction on how to set up personal cell phones to access emails from the HFIAW and IIIATF.

Participants learned how to access their International email accounts, enabling effective communication and collaboration across borders.

Coordinators were guided through the configuration process, including account setup, security measures and troubleshooting common issues. IMG_2431

Local 7 Seattle/Anchorage Training Coordinator Brian Kinsman described the two-day training event as unforgettable.

"Coming together with fellow new coordinators and connecting with program leaders from around our International was a tremendous opportunity, and I am sincerely grateful for the chance to forge lasting connections,” Kinsman said. “The dedication and expertise displayed by all the presenters were commendable, making the training an enriching and inspiring event. Their commitment to apprenticeship and our trade left a lasting impression on all of us, and I extend my heartfelt thanks to each of them.”

Open Discussion 

With Stahl serving as a moderator, the event concluded with an open discussion period, providing coordinators with a platform to share their experiences, insights, and concerns related to their new roles and responsibilities.

Topics included the duties and responsibilities of JATC boards, strategies for effective coordination and communication within the organization and the importance of ongoing professional development.

Coordinators actively participated by exchanging ideas and best practices while seeking guidance from experienced colleagues. The open discussion was an opportunity for coordinators to learn from one another and strengthen their understanding of their organizational roles.

"Empowered with knowledge and connected by shared insights, the 2023 New Coordinators Training equipped our new JATC Coordinators to excel in their roles within their Local as well as the International,” Stahl said. “Through comprehensive sessions and engaging discussions, they embraced their responsibilities, built solid foundations and fostered collaboration for a unified approach toward apprenticeship training and workforce development.”

The IIIATF thanks McGuckin, Walsh and Houske for leading the 2023 New Coordinators Training.


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