New York, NY – IUOE Local 94’s three-year training program teaches apprentices how to operate and maintain HVAC facilities in sites ranging from commercial buildings to public schools and hotels.

IUOE Local 94 Training Director Howard Styles.

The program, according to Training Director Howard Styles, is not an “official apprenticeship program.” Rather than being state controlled, Local 94’s program is employer funded — making it a “training fund” based on contributions from employers.

“Apprentices mean different things,” Styles says. “Apprentices are supposed to be somebody in training for a specific job, right? And then they give a title of journeyman to those that have more experience on the job. It’s kind of like the same thing, it’s just different names — more or less semantics. When they first come on, and most of them are considered helpers, they’re engineer helpers. And then when they get their license, they become engineers — Operating Engineers.”

The best way, Styles says, for those who are interested in becoming part of the program, is to prepare themselves; to start to acquire the certificates of fitness that they can get through the Fire Department. There are many certificates that can be obtained. “If they want,” Styles says, “they can start working on the refrigeration license.”

Unlike some other programs, there is no set time during the year when IUOE Local 94 training fund applications become available.

“It’s always fluid, because the employer may need somebody at any time,” Styles says. “So, it’s not a twice-a-year thing or anything like that. It’s as needed, as the employer needs help or [an] engineer. That’s how they fill those positions.”

But Styles is proud IUOE Local 94’s training program can accommodate up to 1,000 students in a semester — either by remote learning, as was done during the height of the pandemic — or hands-on training, which is now back.

“We have hands-on trainers for all types of equipment like pumps and heating equipment. We have, of course, refrigeration trainers, we have control systems. We have all of those different electrical hands-on trainers.”


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