Fifteen IAM members made history last week by completing the first ever Spanish Train-the-Trainer Program at the Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. It’s part of a growing effort to expand learning opportunities to Spanish-speaking IAM members.
“I am incredibly proud of the members who completed this historic program, the members of Spanish Leadership Working Group who prepared and delivered the curriculum, and the IAM as a whole for making educational opportunities available to all our members,” said International President Bob Martinez. “I recently attended the LCLAA Convention – and I can say without hesitation or reservation that there are no other unions in North America providing its Spanish-speaking members with educational opportunities as broad and deep as what is available to our members at the Winpisinger Center. Once again, the Machinists Union leads the way.”
Local 2725 Steward Daniel Galarza attended the inaugural Spanish train-the-trainer program, which teaches activists how to turn fellow members into activists themselves.
“There are two unions where I work and everyone knows the Machinists are the best trained and the envy of the workplace,” said Galarza, who traveled to the Southern Maryland training center from his home in Levittown, Puerto Rico. “Programs like these are what put our union above the rest.”
Local 2339O Flight Attendant Monica Pasillas says the program enriches and strengthens the IAM.
“As important as it is to know where we come from, it is that much more important to know where we’re going,” said Pasillas, an O’Hare-based ExpressJet Flight Attendant. “This resource will do just that. It will enable us to communicate and train our Spanish speaking brothers and sisters.”
The IAM’s increased emphasis on Spanish-language programs mirrors many workplace’s increase of Latinos, the largest ethnic minority in the United States.
“I have become a better unionist, and person, every time I complete a Leadership Program at the Winpisinger Center. This was the final missing piece of the whole program,” said Tony Colina, a Steward from Tombal, TX Local 2198. “It’s important to know that our union invests in its Spanish-speaking members.”
The Spanish Leadership Working Group (SLWG) has also been very busy the last two weeks at W3. First, it hosted 24 participants in Spanish Leadership I, one of the largest showings in the program’s history. Then it hosted the Spanish Train-the-Trainer Pilot Program (click here for participants). The next Spanish Leadership Program will be Leadership II, to be held December 4-9, 2016.
“The IAM’s Spanish Leadership Program has equipped me with the skills and courage to fight for working men and women,” said Ines Garcia-Keim, a Steward and Legislative Director for Hoboken, NJ Local 914. “We will grow this great union and the Latino community will especially benefit from the commitment the IAM has made to providing educational opportunities for its Spanish speaking members. Si se puede!”
Click here to download enrollment forms in either Spanish or English directly from the Winpisinger Center’s website. Enrollments in any of the Spanish Leadership programs do not count against a Lodge’s regular Leadership school allotments.
The IAM thanks the members of the Spanish Leadership Working Group for doing the heavy lifting to make Spanish-language courses at the Winpisinger Center possible.
If you have any questions about the Spanish Leadership Programs or need any additional information, please contact W3 Center Education Representative Edmundo Osorio at 301-373-8814 or firstname.lastname@example.org.