District 15 & CREST Provide Skills Training in New Jersey

Pictured are the newest IAM District 15/CREST auto and diesel technician apprentices, with well-wishers, at their first orientation. Left to right: NJ AFL-CIO Coordinator Ed Correa, William Dmitrzak, Local 447 Business Rep Juan Negron, Whitney Kass III, Joel Freire, Kevin Matos, Paul Palma, Bryant Flores, Commissioner Harold Wirths, Nazareno Aguilar, Hector Martinez, Angelica Diaz, Robert Alterisio, CREST Director Michael Flynn and Apprenticeship Coordinator Ira Stern.

The first orientation for the IAM District 15/CREST (Corporation for Re-Employment and Safety Training) incoming class of diesel and auto tech apprentices was held at the Hudson Nissan dealership in Jersey City, NJ. The students also toured Hudson Toyota next door, one of several employers who have hired IAM apprentices.

This latest class consists of 10 trainees who were selected from a pool of 150 applicants. The orientation serves as an introduction into the four-year training program.

The IAM apprenticeship program receives funding from the New Jersey (NJ) Department of Labor and Workforce Development as part of their Youth Transition To Work (YTTW) program. YTTW provides funding to a consortium of employers, organized labor and schools to help young people move from high school into occupations through apprenticeship training.

On hand to welcome the new apprentices was CREST Director Michael Flynn, NJ Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Harold Wirths, AFL-CIO Education & Training Coordinator Ed Correa, IAM Local 447 Business Representative Juan Negron and CREST Apprenticeship Coordinator Ira Stern.

“You are learning skills in a field you are passionate about and preparing for jobs that cannot be moved overseas,” Commissioner Wirths told the new trainees. “In challenging economic times, employers are more judicious in hiring, and apprenticeships offer employers confidence that apprentices have demonstrated a work ethic, have knowledge of the job and have a willingness to learn new skills.”

For more information about this program, email Ira Stern at istern@iamaw.org, or go to CruisingTowardsSuccess.org.