UA 400 Pipe Trades and the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA) held its fourth annual Apprentice Signing Day on September 15, 2023, at the UA 400 Training Center to recognize 102 first-time apprentices as they begin their five-year apprenticeships. The breakdown of the apprentices by trades is as follows: 17 Fabricators, 18 HVAC Service Technicians, 20 Plumbers and 47 Construction Steamfitters. This year’s event, modeled after the National Signing Day for college athletes, recognized UA 400 first-year apprentices who have secured employment with twenty-eight UA 400 signatory contractors.
“You don’t have to go to college to have a great career and make a great living,” said UA 400 Business Manager Doug Dokey. “This is our way of showing these apprentices that they’re just as important when they sign with us as the high school seniors who sign to attend and compete at NCAA programs.”
UA 400 signatory contractors, representing the MCA, who are employing the new apprentices include A&J Mechanical, Aldag-Honold Mechanical, Anderson HVAC LLC, August Winter & Sons, AZCO, Bassett Mechanical, Coenen Mechanical, CR Meyer, EGI Mechanical, Enerpipe, Great Lakes Mechanical, GRP Mechanical, Hurckman Mechanical Industries, J.F. Ahern, John’s Refrigeration, Johnson & Jonet Mechanical, Kurt Zenter & Sons, Mannenbach Mechanical, Meyer Mechanical, Mechanical Technologies, Piping Service Inc., Piping Systems, Plymouth Plumbing, Refrigeration Services, Straightline Refrigeration, Team Industries Inc., Tweet-Garot Mechanical, and Woolsey Plumbing.
“Apprentice Signing Day is not only significant for the individual apprentices as they embark on an exciting new career, but it is hugely important for Local 400 and the Mechanical Contractors Association,” said Jeff Gaecke, Executive Vice President of the Mechanical Contractors Association. “It helps us ensure there is a steady pipeline of trained and qualified workers to meet the demand of industry in Northeast Wisconsin. Apprentice Signing Day provides contractors with the future employees who can eventually become journeymen, supervisors, and leaders within our organizations.”
Speakers who addressed the apprentices and guests included Amy Pechacek, Secretary – Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development; Tony Penterman, Mayor of Kaukauna; Doug Dokey, UA 400 Business Manager; Jeff Gaecke, Executive Vice President of the Mechanical Contractors Association; and Scott Krejcarek, UA 400 Training Coordinator.
“The average first-year apprentice needs 1,600 on-the-job-training hours, 136 hours of Day School, and at least 120 Night School hours,” said Scott Krejcarek, UA 400 Training Coordinator. “Apprentices are paid to attend eight hours of day school once every other week. While the apprentice attends day school, he or she typically works 32 hours per week for their contractor (fabricators work 40 hours per week, four ten-hour shifts Monday through Thursday and attend school on Friday). In addition, a typical first year apprentice has two 3-hour nights of school per week after they are done working for the day.”
Currently, there are a total of 391 UA 400 apprentices working towards their apprenticeship. UA 400 Pipe Trades in conjunction with its signatory contractors offer paid apprenticeships in pipe fabrication, plumbing, steamfitting and HVAC-R service. The five-year apprenticeship programs provide classroom instruction with UA Certified Instructors and on-the-job training with a contractor alongside experienced journey workers and apprentices. Graduates of the UA 400 Apprentice Program are trusted to deliver only the highest quality of work in the pipe trades industry. UA 400 works in conjunction with MCA to serve the unique needs of contractors in Northeast Wisconsin. Once an apprentice has completed his/her apprenticeship and becomes a Journey worker, continuing education opportunities are available to all UA members through specialized training and certification programs.
For more information on UA 400 apprenticeships, visit https://ua400.org/get-started-now/
About UA 400 Pipe Trades
The UA 400 Pipe Trades, headquartered in Kaukauna, Wisconsin with an office in Fond du Lac, is comprised of approximately 2,400 members serving eighteen counties in Northeast Wisconsin. The organization is affiliated with the United Association (UA) with an estimated 345,000 membership throughout the United States and Canada. The group’s mission is to be the preferred choice for industries, employers and workers specializing in plumbing, HVAC service, pipe fabrication and steamfitting and provide training for its members and qualified manpower to its 105 signatory contractors. UA 400 takes pride in their partnerships and contributions to serve local communities including Cerebral Palsy Telethon, Special Olympics, Rebuilding Together, Heat’s On Program, Harbor House, Freedom House, Journey to Adult Success Program, Salvation Army and more. To keep up with the latest news and to learn more about UA 400, visit http://www.ua400.org follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.