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International Operating Engineer - Summer 2017

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The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Education & Training

Education & Training Engine Mock-ups Add Fuel to Job Corps Mechanics Training Holding Her Own: Member Promotes Union Values Member Spotlight SUSAN “SUSIE” KRINGEN is many things: Wife, mother, biker, mentor, Local 3 Political Action Committee (PAC) member and native North Dakotan. She’s also one of the best allaround Local 3 operators on the USA Parkway job in Nevada. Some women have memories of playing with Barbies in giant doll houses – for Susie, they’re of big equipment and moving dirt. Consequently, she became an expert early on by sheer exposure. Local 3 Operator Susie Kringen works on the USA Parkway job in Nevada. [article & photo] Mandy McMillen, IUOE Local 3 THE NATIONAL TRAINING FUND’S (NTF) Job Corps Heavy Construction Mechanic Training programs have historically faced the challenge of training on a limited budget, coupled with a lack of variety and availability of actual equipment repairs. Recently, an initiative was undertaken to create diesel engine mock-ups to represent various common repairs trainees will face once employed in the field. The talents of these Mechanic Instructors are evident in the design and construction of the new diesel engine mock-ups they have produced for the NTF Job Corps programs. The ultimate goal of the engine mock-ups is to function as originally designed. They offer the trainees the hands-on experience of repair and maintenance of a diesel engine and its’ support systems. The completed mock-ups were a compliment to the NTF Job Corps mechanic instructors’ abilities and desires to assist their trainees in becoming successful entry level apprentice mechanics. Once the engine mock-ups were put into use, the trainees were not only able to see the components of a diesel engine and how they function, but also remove and install the various components and parts; all while learning to recognize wear and failure in the process. By utilizing the engine mock-ups during early days of training, as well as other drive train and hydraulic mock-ups created by the mechanic instructors, the trainees are able to relate much easier to the equipment repairs they must perform on a daily basis. Utilizing the new training mockups has resulted in students performing more timely repairs, requiring less guidance, and completing the tasks with confidence. Any local IUOE apprenticeship programs interested in engine mockup design and manufacture should contact Joe Dixon, IUOE NTF Job Corps Regional Coordinator at jdixon@iuoe. org “My dad and grandpa and stepdad had gravel trucks and worked in excavation; that’s what I was around,” she remembered. “I was always in gravel trucks, dump trucks, loaders – you name it. I grew up in the dirt.” Even though her first husband was a union member in North Dakota, Susie didn’t know much about the union or what it had to offer. That changed when they moved to Nevada in 1995, and Susan joined the Laborers right away. At first, however, she didn’t have many local connections, so she got into warehousing. “I saw these women working paycheck to paycheck, and I didn’t want that,” she said. “I wanted to do something with my life.” That “something” was joining the Local 3 Apprenticeship Program in Nevada in 2006, and the experience changed everything for her. “This is exactly what I wanted …” she said. She journeyed-out in 2010 – still has the belt buckle to prove it – and worked at the Granite Lockwood Quarry, where she operated the crusher. In October of last year, she was sent to the USA Parkway job with Ames Construction and has been there ever since, operating everything they put in front of her and enjoying the connections with the crew on the job, including two other female operators. Throughout her life, Susie has put a high value on people, networking with them, connecting with them and learning from them. After joining Nevada District 11’s PAC, these values have helped her, while she gets an insider’s look at the political issues Nevada faces. Last year, she participated in Nevada’s giant weekend precinct walks, benefiting from the new perspective of sharing the union message with local residents right at their front doors. “It was so interesting,” she said. “You’re scared to walk up to somebody’s door, but there was passion this year about what we wanted to have happen with the country. Just to go out and hear the people, from their own words. You don’t know what you’re going to get every time you knock on a door.” As she is known for, Susie held her own, and felt connected in a much bigger way after the experience. “It was fascinating for me to see all the people [precinct walking] from California, even the Retirees. It really opened up my eyes to see how you really vote your paycheck.” This paycheck Susie has worked so hard for and precinct walked to protect is important to her, to all women, she explained. “Women should be able to stand on their own two feet. I make my own money. I know I can take care of myself. That’s so important.” She has been a great advocate of the Apprenticeship Program to women, often volunteering at career workshops for them. “I’ve met a lot of people that I just want to help,” she said. She also brought the benefits of a union career to her stepson, Thomas Willliard, who joined the Apprenticeship Program last year. “I love my job and am able to have nice things, able to afford luxuries,” she said. “[Local 3] changed my life for the better. I look forward to going to work every day ... and me and my husband are set up to have a bunch of fun.” 10 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER SUMMER 2017 11

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