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|Saturday, May 25th, 2013|
New training development for skilled trades in London
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Jaymin Proulx
Published: Saturday, May 7th, 2011
London is becoming a hotbed for those in the region looking to become skilled tradespeople. A new development at the Labourers’ International Union of North America Local 1059 is building on their comprehensive training program where students can develop their skills and apply new knowledge to jobs in the construction trades.
On June 28, the Labourers’ Local 1059 held a grand opening at their Regional Training Centre at 56 Firestone Blvd. The new building is a 32,500 square foot facility that includes new shops, a classroom, large meeting rooms and cafeteria. The original building was built in 1989, and has been expanded from its original 20,000 square feet, which held three classrooms, one computer lab and shops with the latest tools and equipment.
Chartered in 1953, LIUNA represents workers in London, Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford, Perth and Bruce counties. Its 3,000 members include 2,350 construction and 650 maintenance, light manufacturing and security employees. It is committed to representing members through community advocacy and political action on employment-related issues.
The opening of the new Local 1059 building was privy to a few honourable guests as well: Honourable John Milloy, the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and MPP For Kitchener; Khalil Ramal, the MPP for London-Fanshawe; Chris Bentley, Attorney General, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and MPP for London West; Deb Mathews, Minister of Health and Long Term Care and MPP for London North; and London Mayor Joe Fontana.
“This is the grand opening of our training facility. We train construction workers for approximately 200 employers in the London area, and we just recently (finished) an addition to our facility with this building … a few several months ago,” stated Jim MacKinnon, Local 1059 Business Manager.
“We serve workers in London as well as Middlesex, Elgin, Oxford, Huron-Perth and Bruce Counties. It is a centralized place for members to learn new skills and enhance existing ones.“
Almost $10 million has been invested in the buildings and equipment in the facility. Each year, up to 40 new apprentices, 50 pre-apprentices and 100 first-, second- and third-year apprentices and several hundred journeypersons are trained and obtain safety certifications.
“It’s clear that our skilled workers have an immense impact on London’s economy and the economy of this region,” added MacKinnon. “This training centre is one of the most important tools that our industry, our local union and our employers have to ensure our skilled workers are the most well trained professionals and employable.”
Ontario Minister of Training Milloy was enthusiastic about congratulating Local 1059 on the important role they play in apprenticeship in the province of Ontario.
“When we talk about post-secondary education, we’re not simply talking about universities and colleges: we’re also talking about the third pillar reaches of apprenticeship, an equally important part of our post-secondary system.”
“We introduced financial incentives for both apprentices and employers; we brought in new programming; we brought in the College of Trades and opportunity for the sector itself to have ownership of apprenticeship and to make sure it is as strong as possible,” Milloy continued. “But of course, no government could do this work alone. We need strong partners and the unionized sector of organizations like LIUNA and 1059 have punched well above their weight when it comes to apprenticeship training in Ontario. 1059 has so much to be proud of.”
Fanshawe Student Union VP External Andrew Payne was equally appreciative: “I think it’s phenomenal ... I was speaking to Jim McKinnon and asked him, ‘Where do you get your students from?’ He said, ‘From everywhere, like high schools, colleges and even those ‘second career’ guys. So the fact that they’re able to take so many people from everywhere, get them trained and get them back in the workforce is great!”
Check out this video report filed from the opening: