Brothers and Sisters:
In the August issue of the Elevator Constructor, NEIEP Director John O’Donnell wrote about the brand new national training center NEIEP opened in Warwick, Rhode Island across from TF Green International Airport. The dedicated facility for training instructors has been a long project for NEIEP and the COVID-19 pandemic gave them additional time to be sure they had everything right.
In many ways NEIEP and Local 17 were on parallel courses. In May 2020, the Joint Apprenticeship Committee was informed that the building it was renting on Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland was sold and it would have to find a new home for the school. While that may have been bad news in some Locals, that was not necessarily the view in Cleveland. The space was in a part of town that is transitioning from a commercial/residential neighborhood to an attempt at gentrification. There were ongoing issues with after hours safety of persons and property and the space was also not conducive to the growing educational needs of the Local.
After searching the downtown Cleveland area, Business Manager John Driscoll Jr, with the help of a local real estate agent, found a building previously used as a credit union across from the Ford Engine Plant near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Brookpark, a southern suburb of Cleveland.
Once the lease was signed on the Engle Road facility, it took several months of work to refurbish the former credit union building into the training center. “We are very excited to be in the building” Driscoll said.
“This building is a major upgrade from our Superior location” said NEIEP Area Coordinator Wally Wuelling. “Everyone is happy we are back in the classroom.”
On August 9th, IUEC Local 17 opened its new training center with an apprentice orientation. This was the first event in the building because the Covid-19 outbreak kept instruction online for all of last year.
The center, which is four times larger can the previous classroom space on Superior Avenue, features a two classrooms upstairs, two downstairs, two restrooms and multiple storage options for labs and materials.
Photos from the day and the facility can be seen on the IUEC Local 17 website, iueclocal17.org.
As you receive this issue, the International will be holding their convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. Conventions are not big parties just thrown together at the last minute for the purpose of socialization. Conventions are where the direction of the International for the next five years is debated, argued and wrestled over point by point. It is where the priorities for the upcoming contract negotiations are hammered out.
If history is any indication, the priorities coming out this gathering will help prepare the union as a whole for any eventuality, good or bad, foreseen or unforeseen, which may arise. On behalf of the Brothers, Sisters, officers and delegates of IUEC Local 17, congratulations on a successful convention and upcoming contract negotiations.
Until next month…
Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.