The UA’s Instructor Training Program (ITP) is considered one of the most successful skills training programs in North America. And it’s perhaps one of the most important weeks of the year for the United Association. Each year, roughly 2,000 Instructors from Local Unions across North America and Australia arrive at Washtenaw Community College (WCC) in Ann Arbor, Michigan to train as peers in the most contemporary skill sets for the next generation. The program encompasses intensive week-long classes in the latest teaching methods and emerging technologies in our trades, and features other events and activities throughout the week.
The goal for most of the participants of the program is to complete the Instructor Certification Program or the Coordinator Certification Program, which takes approximately five years to accomplish. This year, 107 individuals graduated from the program and were honored at a graduation ceremony held at Eastern Michigan University. General President Hite told this year’s graduates, “You — and the men and women you will train and mentor throughout your career — are the Future of the United Association. Being here this week and meeting with many of you graduating today, I’m confident that the Future of the UA is in good hands.”
International Apprentice Contest
While participants take courses throughout the week, apprentices from across the world gather at WCC to compete in the International Apprentice Contest — a competition that brings the top apprentices from across our organization together to test their skills in front of expert judges.
Congratulations to this year’s winners:
Tyler Radkowski (Service Technician), District 6, Local 787, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Dustin Kinzel (Pipefitter), District 5, Local 32, Seattle, WA
Joseph Heid (Plumber), District 2, Local 27, Pittsburgh, PA
Jason Olliges (Sprinkler Fitter), District 4, Local 268, St. Louis, MO
Brian LaRou (Welder), District 4, Local 597, Chicago, IL
The UA hosts an Industry Day event each year inviting our partners in the industry to visit with instructors and tour our state-of-the-art facilities. Many special guests joined us this year, including Congressman John Dingell (D-MI), the longest serving member of the House of Representatives in History, Chuck Fell, President of the MCAA, Dr. Rose Bellanca, President of Washtenaw Community College, Earl Setches, General President of the Plumbing Trades Employees Union of Australia, and Kevin Tindall, President of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC). Special thanks to all of the contractors and end-user representatives who joined us for this very special event.
25th Anniversary of UA/WCC Partnership
This is the 25th year we have held the Instructor Training Program at WCC. This special anniversary was marked by a 15-year extension of the UA/WCC partnership and the commissioning of the college’s first combined cooling, heat and power system (CCHP) system, which will save an estimated $60,000 in utility costs per year. The CCHP system was designed and built by GEM Energy, of Walbridge, Ohio. GEM Energy also is donating a micro-turbine to train future energy professionals in the college's UA Great Lakes Regional Training Center.
The UA maintains a full-time, year-round presence at WCC through our Great Lakes Regional Training Center. This facility includes classroom and auditorium space, as well as hands-on labs and workshops in everything from welding to rigging to heating and air conditioning.
5K and Pub Crawl benefiting the Semper Fi Fund
Each year, the UA hosts a 5K and Pub Crawl in downtown Ann Arbor benefiting the Semper Fi Fund, which provides financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured service members and their families. A strong supporter of ensuring that our veterans have the resources they need to transition back to their communities, the United Association is proud to host this event annually as part of our ITP week activities. This year, we raised $23,251!
Want to learn more about the ITP Program? Watch here: