As with nearly everything, the pandemic wreaked havoc with Local 12’s training center. But, after coping with major interruptions and modifications the past two academic years, apprentice classes and other programs at the center have returned, more or less, to regular operations.
The only major concession to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 is that students, instructors, and visitors must wear facemasks in the facility while they are in classrooms. Night classes for journeyman training, which had been temporarily cancelled, have resumed.
“We are trying to get back to normal,” says Rick Carter, the training center’s director. “But I think we are all still in COVID shock. Some people are having a hard time rebooting and returning to normalcy.”
When the pandemic forced schools to close in March 2020, the training center switched to remote learning. For classes that emphasize hands-on instruction and participation, the model proved to be difficult. Carter says it was not conducive to the kind of high-quality training for which the center is known.
In fall 2020, in-person classes returned. To maximize social distancing, however, the class sizes were reduced to about ten apprentices. That meant the center had to expand its schedule and present more classes to accommodate everyone. Many hand sanitizer stations were installed, the HVAC system was upgraded to improve ventilation, and other modifications were made. It was not ideal, but it was significantly better than conducting virtual classes.
This academic year, the center is back to pre-COVID-sized classes and a regular schedule. Carter says that it’s good to put most of the pandemic-era modifications in the rearview mirror. “Hopefully we never have to go back to that.”
https://massplumbers.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Facade-scaled.jpg13022560MassPlumbershttp://massplumbers.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/MPlogoWeb2019.pngMassPlumbers2021-11-11 20:22:002021-12-01 20:35:32Training center back to “normal”