October 30, 2012
CARPENTERS’ LOCAL 494
Windsor Carpenters’ union prep for busy times
With Windsor’s construction economy shifting into a higher gear, the timing couldn’t be better for the Carpenters’ Local 494 to complete renovations that add bona fide training space.
The Carpenters’ Union completed a $1 million upgrade featuring 3,000 square feet of large-scale meeting and banquet space, three classrooms and about 2,000 square feet for drywall and carpentry-related skills upgrading courses at its union hall on Fasan Drive in Tecumseh, Ont.
Matt Kwasnicki, representative/organizer, Local 494, says the union hall is starting a recruitment drive for carpentry apprentices.
“We’re going to need a lot of carpenters to meet the growing demand in Windsor, and that may mean up to 10 to 15 per cent more members.”
The upgraded training space at the union hall will make a big difference for instructors and students. In the past upgrading courses were held where there was enough space.
“Sometimes that was in the shop, the kitchen and other times the board room doubled as a classroom,” says Kwasnicki.
The new hands-on training room — particularly geared to drywall and flooring skills upgrading — was in dire need, he says.
“Our training for drywall and flooring has been limited because we haven’t had a proper room set up for practical training.”
That space offers training for such specialized installations as grid ceilings and an area for unusual wall mockups and other wall and ceiling applications. Courses will be organized on an ad-hoc basis and as new materials and technologies emerge.
Local 494 offers about 60 skills training courses in total for its members.
The expansion is the final of a three-phase project that features the addition of a concrete mezzanine floor plus a meeting and banquet room at the 20,000 square foot building the union acquired four years ago.
The drywall work was done by Riverview Drywall & Painting Contractors Ltd.; De Angelis Construction Inc. is responsible for the millwork and trim.
Windsor’s construction economy has come out of a long slow period. High profile projects like the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Canadian Plaza and the Windsor-Essex Parkway have made the headlines around the province.
But the city also has a number of significant projects underway, including its new aquatic centre and tenders are out on a multi-million dollar Lakeshore arena complex that will feature two arenas.
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