Thursday, June 2, 2011

Form and Function

Carpenters union school will get trainers prepared to teach tradespeople of tomorrow


The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is preparing for an economic turnaround by planning a 600,000-square-foot addition to its flagship Las Vegas training center early next year.

Millwrights learn how to assemble and install power plant generators at the carpenters international training center on Placid Street.
William Irwin stands next to a bald eagle built by trainees outside the carpenter union international training center. The 10-year-old facility is slated to triple in size.

The expansion will nearly triple the size of the 10-year-old facility. The $25 million training center at 6801 Placid St., adjacent to the Las Vegas Beltway, has expanded three times since its debut. The complex, on 14 acres, has trained an estimated half-million people since 2001. The six-story, 344,243-square-foot center now gets about 10,000 visitors a year -- a figure the union expects to more than double with the planned addition.

The four-story, L-shaped expansion will add 40 classrooms and double the 23,415-square-foot millwright training area, focusing on power generation and renewable-energy plant construction and maintenance. Los Angeles-based Gin Wong Associates is project architect; a contractor has not been named. Although a project budget hasn't been disclosed, union officials say the center will represent a $100 million investment upon completion.

"This expansion will enable us conduct classes concurrently and host over 20,000 visitors," said William K. Irwin Jr., executive director of the Carpenters International Training Fund, which oversees the center. "Things are bad but they aren't going to stay that way forever. There is work coming up and we want to be ready for it."

The construction industry had a 17.8 percent unemployment rate in April due to a scarcity of new development activity. Yet, the carpenters remain bullish about the future. The union foresees upcoming work in the energy markets and therefore has developed a millwright training program focused on power generation in conjunction with Siemens AG and General Electric Co., which have donated about $6 million in equipment. The stand-alone millwright building has four 20-ton roof cranes to move and maneuver turbines and other oversized plant machinery that workers use to hone their installation and service skills. The program also focuses on training for renewable-energy facilities, including wind turbines and photovoltaic arrays.

"We want to make our people more employable with seven-days-a-week, year-round training that keeps our members abreast of regulatory and technological changes," Irwin said. "This is a 'train the trainer' facility. This is where trainers from all over the country come to learn and sharpen their skills."

The center functions like a self-sustaining city, with 280 guest rooms operated by Los Angeles-based Harbaugh Hotel Management Co. There is maid, mail and laundry service, plus a cafeteria and fitness center. There is also a pool, hot tub, bar and lounge. The center is closed to the public. Visitors must first have 100 hours of training before being invited to Las Vegas.

"We want visitors to stay on-site. We tell them to not bring any money," Irwin said. "We don't even have any ATMs on-site."

An average training center stay lasts about six days, with food, lodging and transportation provided. The center, which offers 100 courses more than 300 times a year, can conduct 900 person-capacity classes and feed up to 500 people in one sitting. There are 40 classrooms and 240 computers, plus a 15,414-square-foot ballroom and six breakout meeting rooms. The center publishes and distributes 800 different training volumes, making the union the sixth-largest producer of technical training materials in the world. The carpenters have roughly 250 training centers and 1,500 full-time instructors throughout North America; the union spent $200 million on skills training last year.

Carpenters cover eight construction work categories: millwright, floor layer, cabinet/mill maker, lathe operator, interior systems, pile driving, residential carpentry and general carpentry. The Las Vegas training center functions like university with instructors specializing in specific skill areas. Students learn through a combination of lectures, videos, textbooks, live demonstrations, tests and hands-on work.

"We understand that a highly trained work force is necessary for our contractors and members to compete in today's market," carpenters union General Vice President Doug Banes said in a statement. "That's why we are totally dedicated to maintaining and improving the skills of all our members."


  1. Richard DorroughJune 2, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    600,000-square-foot addition!!! Oh so this is why Doug and the UBC rats are dissolving locals and stealing form all their accounts.He needs to add on to his Vegas palace. Which hotel management company of Doug McCarrons will run the 600,000 sq feet. No market share. No jobs. No health insurance. No rent. No food and this asshole is building a 600,000 sq foot addition. Hmmm.Anybody want to picket in Vegas.I was thinking of attending the picketers Union convention anyways. That is at the homeless shelter right down the street from Dougys palace

  2. "The center functions like a self-sustaining city, with 280 guest rooms operated by Los Angeles-based Harbaugh Hotel Management Co."

    According to the LM-2s, McCarron has paid the Harbaugh Hotel Management Company $20,178,000 of our dues money over the past three years alone to "manage" the ITC.

    2010 $6,323,000 ÷ 280 rooms = $22,582 per room

    2009 $6,836,000 ÷ 280 rooms = $24,414 per room

    2008 $7,019,000 ÷ 280 rooms = $25,068

    The three year average of the cost to "manage" each "guest room" per year rounds out to $24,021

    Just to put things into perspective.

  3. Wow sounds like McCarron is building a country club out there. Maybe he's going to retire there. NO visitors allowed what kind of shite is that. I guess all union members without the initial 100 hours can't even get in there. NO ATM's. Quote. We don't want them to worry about money. Who is this ass---- that has the b---s to say this with everyone out of work. Maybe that's why doug is coming to newyork for a one on one with Mr. Walsh he is probably concerned that his cash cow isn't going to just pay off. What's next a golf course so all our freebee guest can relax during classes McCarron MUST GO!

  4. The worst thing about the ITC is that McCarron requires the Locals to ship a handful of handpicked 3rd year apprentices out there every year(on the Local's dime, not the Internationals I might add), not for skills training, but for brainwashing, re-education, reprogramming and indoctrination into cult-like followers of the corporate unionism I call McCarronism.

    Hitler had his youth movement, so does McCarron.


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