3 years ago

International Operating Engineer - Spring 2019

  • Text
  • Operating
  • Iuoe
  • Engineer
  • Itec
  • Pipeline
  • Workers
  • Engineers
  • Infrastructure
  • Callahan
The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers

i n t e r n at i o n a l

i n t e r n at i o n a l Operating Engineer From the General President [James T. Callahan] Not in print. No problem. The International magazine will no longer be printed and mailed. However, new quarterly issues will be available to read online or download anytime at: Online. All the time. Mobile friendly. Read at home or take it with you on your tablet or smart phone. ONE YEAR AGO, we opened the doors of the International Training & Education Center (ITEC). It was the exciting culmination of years of planning and hard work by fellow Operating Engineers who are dedicated to providing the highest standard of training to our members. Since then, the results have been outstanding. During the first year of operation, ITEC hosted 261 training classes and continuing education conferences spanning every industry in which our members work. Over 3,100 members, from first-year apprentices to seasoned journeymen, benefitted from the center’s state-of-the-art classrooms, labs and equipment. Dozens of our best instructors were brought in to teach classes and to receive their own professional development. In addition, all of this has been supported by a tremendous staff that keeps ITEC running twenty-four hours, seven days a week. As impressive as these first year statistics are, we have really just begun. Projections for the coming year see more classes offered and more trainees served. For members interested in attending classes, the registration process is now available anytime online by visiting Be sure to check the site regularly for updates and additions to the course calendar. In April, we welcomed a special guest to ITEC. I was informed by the White House that President Trump would be signing two executive orders regarding specific pipeline permitting regulations that IUOE had sought changes to for a number of years. The President was eager to hold the signing ceremony at our new training center in Texas and we honored the request. for Operating Engineers. While at the training center, the President took time to meet with trainees and instructors in our pipeline training program. He also delivered some brief remarks to those attending classes at ITEC that day before signing the executive orders. Our union membership, like the country itself, holds many different political beliefs. However, anytime we are asked to host the sitting President of the United States, it is an honor. Our union and our training center were in the national spotlight that day. Our members and leaders carried themselves with professionalism and respect. We kept the focus on policy, not politics, and we showed why the IUOE is the best union in North America. Meanwhile, back in Washington, the talk on Capitol Hill has again turned to transportation infrastructure. Congressional leaders recently sat down with President Trump and came up with a new trillion dollar target for building and repairing the nation’s roads, bridges and transit systems. A big investment like this is sorely needed, but how likely are we to see anything done in the current political climate? The gridlock on Capitol Hill looks too much like the gridlock on our nation’s highways. Federal spending on infrastructure has been weak for decades. Congress has failed to raise the gas tax, the largest contributor of federal money for infrastructure projects, since 1993. This lack of political will has led to a dangerous decline in safety and increased costs for commuters and airline passers. It has also left hundreds of thousands of potential jobs for Operating Engineers on the table. of Commerce to push for legislation. However, the most powerful voice is yours. Please take a minute to reach out to your elected officials and urge them to make a real investment in infrastructure. Before I wrap up this column, I want to let you know that this will be the last printed issue of the International Operating Engineer magazine. As printing and postage costs have continued to rise and digital technology has changed the way we communicate with each other, we have decided to make a change. We will continue to publish quarterly and new issues will be posted at We will also take advantage of the digital platform to bring more video content to go along with articles that cover the International. The magazine will be available to read online with any mobile device and fully downloadable for viewing offline Check out the next issue online in July. I was fortunate to spend some time that day with the President and we discussed important policy areas that have real job creating potential The time for action is now, but does Congress have the courage to rebuild America? On the national level, the IUOE has partnered with the Chamber Have a great summer. Work safe. 4 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER SPRING 2019 5

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