Apprenticeship Program Graduates Honored
“The light of one candle is not
diminished by using it to light
~ Author unknown
On October 24, recent graduates of the U of M Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program were honored in the presence of family members, friends, foremen, co-workers, and Union leadership at a Recognition Dinner held at the Michigan League. The dinner was held to publicly recognize and celebrate the achievements of the eight men and women who had made the passage from apprentice to journeyman status in the skilled trades since the year 2000.
After a wonderful dinner, which had been coordinated by Betty Alberts. Rich Robben gave the keynote address. He told the graduates that they were following in a centuries-old tradition of continuous learning, which extended back at least as far as the skilled craftsmen guilds that existed in 11th Century England, has continued through the Industrial Age and into today’s Information Age. He added,
”As our new century opens, workers in a wide variety of industries are continuing the tradition of workplace learning with cooperative support of their employers and unions...” Our apprentices ”…are writing new chapters in the continuing story of working peoples’ quest for knowledge, skills, and a better life…For our part, we will continue to foster a learning environment in Plant Operations through support of educational and recognition programs. We will continue to value and support our people. We will keep the tradition.”
Special guest speaker, Associate Vice-President for Facilities and Operations Hank Baier, remarked that he was often asked if he was worried about being responsible for the extensive facilities at such a vast University. He said he had full confidence in the skills, ability, and dedication of the workers who comprise the Plant Operations family; that they could rise to any challenges. He also recognized how intense the competition for these apprentice positions is; that the applicants have to take a test and are then run through a series of interviews. Hence, those candidates who are chosen are really something special. He gave his full support to the continuation and expansion of the Apprenticeship Program.
Finally, Armando Lopez and Steve Brabbs, former Apprenticeship Coordinators who were in that role while the current crop of graduates began their apprenticeships, presided over the presentation of Awards. Each graduate received a plaque and certificate recognizing their accomplishment and their status as a journeyman in their respective trade. The joyous evening ended with picture-taking of the proud graduates and their families and friends. A sure sign of the evening’s success – no one was in any particular hurry to leave. These skilled trades persons will continue to learn, and to share their knowledge with each other and apprentices who follow in their footsteps. They will carry the torch of continuous learning to the next generation, and in so doing, promote the mission of the University of Michigan.
~ Tom Sullivan
Apprenticeship Program Graduates (from left to right):
Tim Brummett, Camie Munsell, Ralph Cheatham, Russ Weiner and
Photo by Betty Alberts
The Graduates and Their Trades
James Beachum, AC Mechanic
Timothy Brummett, Plumber
Ralph Cheatham, Steamfitter
Calvin Hornbeck, AC Mechanic
Kyle McClure, AC Mechanic
Camie Munsell, Pipecoverer
Jeff Treadway, AC Mechanic
Russell Weiner, Plumber
See U-M Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program for a related story on the Apprentice Program in Plant Operations.