‘OE 324’ Opens New Training Facility In Gladstone

Operating Engineers 324 (OE324) on Friday opened a new, cutting-edge training facility that is the first of its kind in the Upper Peninsula.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the 5.5 acre training facility included members from the Operating Engineers 324 leadership team and local officials.

“We are proud to open this new site to train the next generation of operating engineers right here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” said Douglas Stockwell, Business Manager and General Vice President for the Operating Engineers 324. “This new training facility reaffirms the Operators’ commitment to training and improving the skilled trades workforce throughout the state.”

Also joining Stockwell from the OE324 leadership team was Lee Graham, Labor Management Education Committee Director; Ken Dombrow, President; and Journeyman & Apprenticeship Training Fund (JATF) training coordinator John Osika.

“Operating engineers are the highly skilled workers who help keep Michigan’s economy running, and it is more important than ever that our workforce across the state is prepared to take on these kinds of jobs,” said Graham. “To meet these needs we are going to offer a wide variety of classes this training season for in-demand jobs in the Upper Peninsula, like mine safety, confined space training, hazmat training and more.”

After the ribbon cutting, contractors and local leadership were able to tour to the classrooms, shop and offices of the brand-new 11,000 square foot building.

“The opening of this site represents another step forward for the Upper Peninsula into Michigan’s 21st century economy,” said Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba), who attended Friday’s ribbon cutting and open house. “We know jobs in the skilled trades are in high demand and we must continue to support high-quality education for those men and women aspiring to join these important careers.”

Local leaders Tony Retaskie, Executive Director of the Upper Peninsula Construction Council, and Jay Kulbertis, Superintendent of Gladstone Schools, also joined Operating Engineers 324 for the ribbon cutting.

The new Gladstone facility is the third training center operated by OE324 and will be used to train the next generation of operating engineers, offer continuing education for current operators and conduct rescue training exercises with law enforcement and first responders. The Operating Engineers 324 also operate the 555-acre Construction Career Center in Howell and a Stationary Engineer Education Center in Detroit.

Classes that will be offered at the new Gladstone site this training season include:

a  Mine Safety

a  CPR/First Aid/AED

a  Hazmat

a  Forklift Technical/Practical /Recertification

a  OSHA 10 and 30 hour courses

a  Confined Space

a  CCO Exams

a  GPS/Grade Control System Technology