Training Center Goes Extra Mile


The goal for Mike Borjas, the director of the Joint Council 25 Employers Apprenticeship and Training Fund in Joliet, Ill., is providing the best training for Teamsters working in the construction trades as he can. Fortunately for the union, he is accomplishing this every day.

The Joliet facility trains up to 2,000 members per year in a variety of necessary skills. For a complete list of courses, check out www.illinoisteamsterstraining.org.

“A trained and certified Teamster is an employed member,” Borjas said. “What we aim for here is to provide comprehensive training so that our members can maintain the Teamster reputation for supplying the best-trained, skilled workers for any type of construction project.”

Many members interested in the construction trades have some prior military experience, and this can be augmented by the training at the Joliet facility.

Recently the National Safety Council, a nonprofit group which focuses on areas where the greatest number of preventable injuries and deaths occur, including workplace safety, teen driving, cell phone use while driving and safety in homes and communities, awarded the training center their “Trendsetter” award for the Professional Truck Driver Course as part of the Fleet Defensive Driver Safety Program Award category. Borjas accepted the award at the annual National Safety Council Congress and Expo held in Atlanta.

The Illinois Training Center is just one of the training facilities affiliated with the Teamsters that service members across the country which rely on federally funded grant programs administered through the union’s Safety and Health Department. Los Angeles, Boston, Anchorage, Pasco (Wash.), Northern California, Newburgh (N.Y.), Tennessee, South Carolina, Las Vegas and Miami are home to construction training facilities at local unions that offer a broad range of courses.

“We have made training and certification a priority in our union because we believe that a well-trained Teamster member is the most productive and safe worker on any construction site,” said Bubba Davis, Director of the Teamsters Building Material and Construction Trade Division. “With our union’s call to repair and maintain infrastructure, we predict that a variety of construction projects will be coming online very soon and we want our members to be prepared. And, with training at facilities such as Illinois’ in Joliet, they will.”