Last week Middletown, OH IAM Local 1943 unveiled to the public a new partnership apprenticeship program with AK Steel. The 18-month program allows members at AK Steel Middletown Works in production jobs to earn state certification as journeymen in Maintenance Mechanics and become eligible to work in maintenance at AK Steel Middletown Works.
“We are very pleased to launch this new apprenticeship program,” said IAM Local 1943 President and Directing Business Representative Neil Douglas. “We have come a really long way to get to this point and our membership is going to benefit greatly from all the work that has been put into it.”
“Training our members and giving them skills that make them more valuable as employees is an important thing to do as a union,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “They have done a true journeyman’s job of doing just that and getting this program implemented for the membership of Local 1943.”
The program includes on-the-job training with the Mobile Maintenance Department, and related instruction from IAM Local 1943 members who have been certified as instructors and are experts in pipefitting, hydraulics, welding and electrical work.
“It is great that our members get to learn from and tap into the experience of their Union Brothers who have worked in this mill for decades,” said Douglas. “A huge thank you goes to Derek Derifield for all his hard work. He has done an amazing job with our training here at Local 1943, this is proof of it.”
The Ohio AFL-CIO and the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute supported IAM and AK Steel to register their apprenticeship and provided resources for program development.
The IAM/AK Steel Maintenance Mechanic Apprenticeship standards were approved by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in April 2018 and the program currently has 30 apprentices enrolled who are current AK Steel employees.