Washtenaw Community College and the Sprinkler Fitters of UA Local Union 669 signed a five-year contract extension today to continue the college’s involvement in providing the educational component of the union’s apprenticeship program. The agreement will extend the contract through December 2022.

“We are very proud to continue our relationship with Washtenaw Community College,” said Local 669 Business Manager Brian Dunn. “Since the beginning of our partnership in 2006, the college and its sprinkler fitter apprentice education staff have exceeded our expectations. Apprenticeships are a proven workforce development strategy that creates an ongoing supply of skilled workers. We look forward to this extension of our mutually beneficial relationship.”

An apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training and related classroom instruction where workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation, such as a sprinkler fitter and is advantageous to both the student and the employer.

“This contract extension allows WCC to administer training programs on a national scale, which reflect current industry trends in the fire protection industry,” said WCC Dean of Apprenticeships and Skilled Trades Training Programs Marilyn Donham.

Local 669 Secretary/Treasurer Robert Cooper and Training Director Charles Ketner also attended the signing ceremony held at the college today.

The five-year Sprinkler Fitter Apprenticeship Program, monitored by the union’s Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, requires 10,000 working hours, which are acquired by a combination of in-classroom training and distance learning courses.

Washtenaw Community College is also hosting a pair of events in honor of the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2017 National Apprenticeship Week, November 13-19.

On Wednesday, Nov. 15 from 11:30am to 1:30pm, WCC will present Anthony Swoope, a retired administrator from the USDOL Office of Apprenticeships, Employment and Training. He will discuss how an apprenticeship program can be a smart answer to preparing the workforce for those hard-to-fill, high-skilled jobs.

On Thursday, Nov. 16 from 1:00 to 4:00pm, WCC will host representatives from local organizations actively seeking apprentices. Organizations scheduled to attend include:

  • Hatch Stamping Company
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 252, Ann Arbor Electrical JATC
  • Milan Metal Systems, LLC
  • United Association Union of Plumbers, Pipefitters, Service Techs, Steamfitters, and Sprinklerfitters with representatives from Local 190 of Ann Arbor and Local 333 of Lansing, Battle Creek and Jackson

Both events will be held at the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College, 4800 E. Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor, Mich. For information and registration, please visit wccnet.edu/apprenticeships.

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