PCC Apprentices Expand Skills at Flynn
Journal: Issue 2 - 2009
Editor’s Note: Reprinted with permission from IMI Today (January 2009).
Even for final year Local 4 Indiana/Kentucky PCC apprentices Tina Mudge, Mike Bivens and Ronnie Gallet, there is plenty to cover during the two weeks of PCC upgrade training. The expansive setup includes all the tools and equipment needed to learn the basics, plus more specialized topics like rigging, pointing, patching and scaffolding.
Another plus is that the program is tailored to fit each student. “It’s targeted to what I need for the card,” says Mudge, who visited the Center last year for the basics. “That will help me a lot when I get back,” she says.
For Bivens, who also works in brick and block, the course provided “enough to get started. If you know what to do, it makes you more sure of yourself,” he says.
The apprentices also get a three-day course in JAHN historical restoration materials, which are used on stone, brick, marble and terra cotta. The manufacturer requires a strict certification process for anyone buying or using these materials, and IMI offers both training and certification. An added bonus is that they are considered “green,” which also helps their employers.
Bivens credits his employer for getting him into PCC by pushing him to take on more responsibility after laboring for 15 years. “He threw me a life preserver,” he says. For Mudge, a mother of four whose jobs have included kindergarten teacher, a friend in the trade convinced her to try it, because she liked working outside and being active. Gallet had a “great gig” with Northwest Airlines, but after several airlines folded, he realized that “it’s just not the industry to be in.” Originally, he planned to try PCC “for a couple of weeks,” but discovered he had a knack for it, and now enjoys caulking and waterproofing work.
All three had fast-paced apprenticeships working on several major PCC projects in Indianapolis. They also appreciate the advantage that the training gives Local 4 overall. “It shows…the contractors what we can do,” says Bivens.