On a hot September day in Houston, Texas, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 88 opened its newly refurbished training center in a ceremony with invited guests representing IUPAT leadership, contractors, and local political leaders.
DC 88 Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer Eric Porter welcomed attendees to one of the most advanced training centers in the IUPAT thanks to the hard work of the staff of DC 88, and resources provided by the International.
The International Finishing Trades Institute gave a $250,000 grant to the DC 88 training program to purchase equipment, a blast booth, mock ups and other tools to train in multiple IUPAT crafts. The IFTI also assisted their team in receiving a DeWalt tool display, and Safway and Safespan platforms for training.
Staff from the IUPAT Organizing Department, the Finishing Trades Institute and the Painters and Allied Trades LMCI also put their time and skills into the nearly year-long effort.
As a sign of true partnership, IUPAT contractors donated their time and materials to the reformation of the training center. This included Rodney Bardwell, Denise Baker and Dorothy Bardwell, the owners of Spring Glass. They assisted in the purchase of doors, door frames, glass and storefront materials to give the center high quality mock ups for glazing training.
IUPAT contractor JT Thorpe worked with IUPAT instructors from around the country, such as John Hamilton of District Council 4 (Buffalo) and Dave Jones from District Council 5 (Seattle), to perform on-site training while the center was being finished, so that the training never stopped.
Banners representing partners in the industry such as Purdy, SSPC and NACE lined the walls of the state-of-the-art center. This presence of these organizations celebrates the strong partnerships in training we have formed with these industry leaders. In fact, NACE and the IFTI are working together to have the resources in place to become the first NACE NIICAP Accredited AS-3 Training Center in the world. “This is one of the best examples of how the IUPAT and IFTI are working together with industry partners to have not only our members certified in our crafts and recognized as the best on the job, but our contractors as well,” said Anton Ruesing, director of IFTI.
Training is well underway in District Council 88, and the IUPAT is moving strong to grow and put those newly trained members to work in Texas and in the rest of the Southwest United States.