P4A Training Expands with New Building

Construction of a new 5,000 square foot training facility continues at the Power for America (P4A) Potterville, MI campus.

The UWUA Power for America training facility opened in 2014 in Potterville, MI. Since then, 1,222 members have been trained by utility workers.

The UWUA Power for America training facility opened in 2014 in Potterville, MI. Since then, 1,222 members have been trained by utility workers.

In addition to the current 10,000 square foot facility, the additional classroom and lab space will meet the training needs of UWUA members and P4A contributing employers.

The highlights of the new training space are the welding lab and 30-person classroom space. The welding lab will feature six new welding stations designed so that students can learn the art of welding while under the careful supervision of P4A instructors. Based on input from UWUA members and reps from contributing employers, the lab will be used for teaching skills to those new to the welding field as well as those who will need to requalify on an annual basis.

Building on this success, a new facility is being readied for opening to add welding training and more classroom space.

Building on this success, a new facility is being readied for opening to add welding training and more classroom space.

The 30-person classroom provides space for larger group trainings at the P4A facility. “In the past, we would have to use outside space to train large groups,” said Executive Director Jon Harmon. “Now we have the space for these large groups to receive training.” In addition to the larger classroom space and welding lab, trainings can be conducted on a slip-trip simulator. Trainings on this simulator help new and current UWUA members practice walking on slippery surfaces like those on job sites.

“Working with Consumers Energy, P4A identified the opportunity to address a high demand for welding training,” says Michigan State Utility Workers Council President Pat Dillon. “The P4A trustees committed to addressing the need and voted to invest in the future. The new addition to the Training Center marks not only an extension of the commitment by Consumers Energy to the union training its members, but also provides all participating employers an additional training resource in the high demand area of welding.

uwuamag_winter2016_pat-dillion-wuoteIt is through this type of collaboration and economies of scale that the Power for America Training Trust Fund can demonstrate its long term value to participating employers and provide the best real world training to UWUA members.”

“In the coming weeks Power for America will be given the keys to the addition to their Potterville Training Center,” says Consumers Energy Learning and Development Manager Todd Marsh. “We look forward to the opportunity to furthering our partnership with P4A by utilizing this new space for the training of our employees.”