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Carpenters Union proud of training and education center

07.11.10

JULY 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Carpenters Union proud of training and education center

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 29th- The Greater Pennsylvania Regional Council of Carpenters Union which is affiliated with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America International Union, is proud of their training and educational center in North Lebanon Township and continues to expand the center and the programs.

Robert Zukovich, Coordinator/Instructor of the Carpenters Training and Educational Fund of Greater Pennsylvania, told the newspaper the center first opened in 1988. Mr. Zukovich stated the facility is equipped with the highest quality of materials and machinery needed to educate union apprentices the skills of carpentry.

“The facility is designed to prepare the next generation of carpenters,” said Mr. Zukovich. The facility is also used by journeyman members to expand their skills in the trade.

According to Vern Johnson, Northeast Manager of the Council Greater Pennsylvania Regional Council of Carpenters and Vice President of Carpenters Union Local 645 in Scranton, which represents Carpenters Union members throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania, the training center is a state-of-art facility and has expanded since 1988 from 7,800 square feet to more than 35,000 square feet today.

Local 645 is affiliated with the Greater Pennsylvania Regional Council of Carpenters. Local 261 in Scranton had their own training center before the union merged with Carpenters Union Local 514 in Wilkes-Barre approximately seven years ago creating Local 645.

Under the apprentice program applicates must complete a four-year training program which requires classroom teaching and on-the-job training.

Working apprentices wage rates will increase every six months until reaching journeyman status at the end of the four-year program.

Under the millwrights training program, apprentices and journeymen who wish to continue their training, learn to install, maintain, diagnose and repair machines like compressors, pumps, conveyors, monorails, extruders, gas and steam turbines, and mining equipment.

Under the carpenters training program, apprentices learn the carpentry trade which includes working with building materials made with wood, installing tile and insulation, acoustical ceilings, cabinets, and siding.

Gary Ford, President/Organizer of Local 645 and an instructor at the training center stated the Carpenters Training and Educational Fund of Greater Pennsylvania has partnered with the Harrisburg Community College to provide the apprentices with the opportunity to receive college credits.

Mr. Johnson said the rewards of apprenticeship training through the Carpenters are the good wages and benefits received as a skilled craftsperson. He said a unionized carpenter will be working for a union contractor under the protection of a union contract.

Apprentice applicants must reside in twenty-seven counties of Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania which includes Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming and Monroe Counties.

The United Brothershood of Carpenters has around 500,000 union members throughout the United States and Canada.

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