Union, Boeing build aerospace skills in Yakima
YAKIMA — For high school senior Kyle Malesich of Selah, the new manufacturing skills class at Yakima Valley Technical Skills Center is “probably the finest course I’ve taken.”
“We want to make sure our grandkids are up to the challenge,” said Grace Holland, a District 751 member who’s a program administrator for IAM/Boeing Joint Programs. “If we can get these skills back in the schools, we’ll be able to provide the skilled labor that the aerospace industry needs.”
A story that explains how the Boeing Co. and Machinists Union are working together to train the next generation of aerospace mechanics is part of the current edition of the Eastern Washington Machinists News, which is now available online.
The Yakima program is a joint effort of Boeing, the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, local Yakima Valley schools and Machinists Union District Lodge 751.
It’s a first-of-its-kind effort to teach basic machine shop and manufacturing skills to high school juniors and seniors. The goal, said instructor Ken Mayhak, a 45-year machine shop operator, is to help the high school students lean basic skills so they can “get their certification and then go over to Boeing and make a good living.”
The program will also provide trained workers for key Eastern Washington aerospace suppliers like Triumph Composites in Spokane and Pexco in Union Gap, said Jim Bearden, District 751′s Administrative Assistant.
The Yakima Valley program is a statewide pilot. Once the curriculum has been established, the partners plan to launch a similar program at Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center in Everett.
Also in this month’s Eastern Washington Machinists News, you’ll find:
- A report on how two Local Lodge 86 bargaining units that keep buses rolling in Spokane have ratified new contracts;
- A story about a new machine shop at the Hanford Site that has allowed Local Lodge 1951 members to move out of the hut they’ve worked in for the past five years;
- Photos of Local 86 members who received union service pins this year, including two members honored for 60 years of Machinists Union membership.
Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing in Seattle; District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 30,500 workers at 45 employers across Washington, Oregon and California. It has a network of seven local lodges including Local 86 in Spokane, Local 1123 in Wenatchee and Local 1951 in Richland.
To contact a District 751 officer for information on how a union contract could help you, click here.