UA Local 669 apprenticeship runs smoothly, despite COVID-19 adjustments

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions in everybody’s life, but there is work to be done. Union organizers and apprenticeship professionals are working hard to keep increasing union membership.

United Association Local 669 Recruitment and Outreach Specialist Tim Coleman is one of those professionals, carrying on with his job. He joined AWF Union Podcast to detail his experience and encourage listeners to share information about registered apprenticeship programs.

The benefits of apprenticeship

Coleman began by outlining all of the great components of apprenticeship. He discussed the earn while you learn model, supplemental classroom instruction and ability to earn college credit if an apprentice wishes to pursue a degree.

He also said it is important that these programs carry on throughout the pandemic. Sprinkler fitters and other tradesmen and tradeswomen are important and their work is essential, especially during the pandemic.

Adapting to the pandemic

Like many other forms of education, some aspects of apprenticeship programs have been moved online.

Coleman said Local 669 has adapted well to the change. They have learned a lot since the beginning of the pandemic and are doing their best to educate apprentices. Thankfully, some of their training was already online, positioning them nicely for the change.

He cited his personal experience with some of the changes. As a recruitment specialist, Coleman spent much of his time at group events and in schools. He said it was a challenge to shift his efforts online, but has developed some creative ways to teach people about apprenticeship.


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