Even in today's uncertain economy, highly trained workers are always in demand. Highly skilled workers command higher pay and better benefits than unskilled workers. Highly skilled workers are safer on the job and have fewer job-related accidents than do unskilled workers. Trained workers also benefit employers, who can finish projects faster, better, and more safely with skilled workers.
Our union is committed to meeting the demands of employers for a productive, skilled workforce by providing unsurpassed training and education opportunities for all IUPAT members. IUPAT, DC 7 offers education and training programs that make our members the most knowledgeable and accomplished craft workers in North America.
IUPAT, DC 7's Joint Apprenticeship Trust Fund is governed by a board of trustees consisting of members of the IUPAT and the union's signatory employers
On the job training in the following crafts are available through District Council No. 7 's formal state indentured apprenticeship programs in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training Standards:
PAINTING & DECORATING
The painting aspect of our craft is very diverse. Many different materials and techniques must be learned to be proficient in this area of our craft. Paint may be brushed, rolled and sprayed in many different ways and under many different conditions.
GLAZING & GLASS WORK
Glazing is the manufacture and installation of the frames and curtain wall that hold glass and the installation of the glass itself. As a glazier, you would also install the knobs, panic bars, and other hardware on glass doors. Welding and glass cutting is also taught in apprentice classes. Glaziers install all glass from mirrors in bathrooms to the exterior of glass high-rise skyscrapers and everything in between.
DRYWALL TAPING & FINISHING
Some people call this area of our craft "taping" but it is correctly termed drywall finishing. This process involves filling the joints between drywall wallboards. When accomplished correctly, the wall or ceiling will appear to be one continuous surface instead of many pieces of wallboard butted together. The work is performed with knives or trowels utilizing semi-liquid joint compound.
Our programs are structured that “you earn while you learn", and the apprentice actually gets a paycheck. The pay usually starts at around 50% of the journeyworker's hourly wage. This is designed to allow a cost-effective method of passing on the skills of the trade. It must be remembered that not only is the beginning apprentice not capable of profitable production rates but the journeyperson must also sacrifice production time to demonstrate proper procedures to his/her trainee.
Over the course of the period of apprenticeship, the apprentice will receive increases in the percentages of journeyperson rate. This is commonly based on specific time periods. For example, the drywall finisher's apprenticeship program is a three-year period. The apprentice receives 50% of the journeyperson pay rate plus benefits for the first period of so many hours (usually 780 to 1,560 depending on the trade) such as health insurance. Each additional time period merits the apprentice a pay step increase. If the journeyperson gets a pay increase, the apprentice receives the proper percentage of the increase. The glazer's program is slightly different but it operates in a similar fashion.
All apprentices must also receive classroom training that is related to the painting, drywall finishing, or glazing trades. Painter apprentices currently complete 3 semesters of day school attending one day per week. Drywall apprentices have similar classroom training while our glazing apprentices satisfy their classroom instruction through block training. Actually each program in each of our areas varies slightly, so you will need to check with the office in your area. Apprentices are paid for the time spent in day school classroom training. There are some evening school classes that our apprentices attend on their own time. The remainders of the workweeks are spent working on jobsites and the apprentice gets practical application time and teaching from the journeyworkers on the job.