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Spotlight: Operating Engineers Local 324

By Lisa Killingsworth 

Who: Operating Engineers Local 324, a member of The Partnership for Diversity and Opportunity in Transportation

What: The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 is devoted to working with business community and policymakers to create jobs and to build a stronger future for Michigan.  Their first priority is to provide rigorous worker training, making sure that Michigan has a highly skilled workforce that can compete with other states, for the high-tech jobs of the 21st century.  They also want their members to be able to perform these jobs safely, on time and within a set budget. Second, Operating Engineers Local 324 is dedicated to fixing Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges, which will create local jobs, attract more businesses and strengthen the safety of drivers. Third, they aim to invest whole-heartedly into neighborhood schools so that kids can receive a high-quality education in a safe and clean learning environment.  Members work hard every day building, operating and maintaining the roads, bridges and buildings that Michiganders rely on. They also operate power plants, keep school buildings safe, perform critical HVAC duties and much more.

When: Founded in June, 1963.

Where: Grand Rapids, Bloomfield Township, and Marquette, MI

Why: The mission of Operating Engineers Local 324 is to watch for, and invest time into the ever-changing economic, social, political and legal challenges that face the union and to provide an enhanced level of services to its members via dedicated and loyal professionals.

The Training:
–       What does an Operating Engineer Apprentice do?
Operates and maintains hoisting and portable construction equipment, such as Bulldozers, Excavators, Scrapers, Graders, Loaders and Cranes.
–       What makes an ideal Operating Engineer Apprentice?
Someone who has keen awareness of extreme responsibility for the safety of other building tradesmen who work around the equipment, realizes the value of the expensive construction equipment and is able to make quick, sensible decisions as an operator.
–       What are the responsibilities of an Operating Engineer Apprentice?
To perform duties thoughtfully and diligently, to respect the property and the equipment of the contractor, to complete hours of related school instruction and to abide by all rules and regulations put in place by the contractor and the JATF.
–       How does someone become an Operating Engineers Apprentice?
Those interested in becoming an Operating Engineers apprentice can pick up their applications from either the Howell, Grand Rapids, Marquette, Grayling or Detroit training facilities (see ‘News & Events’ page for addresses of these locations).  Applications are available on a “first come, first serve” basis and will be available for pick-up on June 5th – June 6th, from 9:00am – 12:00pm and 2:00pm – 5:00pm.

The Partnership for Diversity and Opportunity in Transportation consists of unions, businesses, and non-profit representatives, working collaboratively to enhance economic development within neighborhoods—which are directly impacted by major public works, and transportation construction projects—by creating community benefits, business growth, job training and other opportunities.

MiRoad2Work.org is one of our programs, designed as a “one-stop shop” for information about apprenticeships and apprenticeship readiness services.