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Hudson County Community College, IUOE Local 825 Celebrate Partnership

NJ Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner and NJ Council of County Colleges President attended the November 18 agreement signing.

On Nov. 18, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) signed an articulation agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825. The event took place at IUOE Local 825 Training Center, 338 Dean Rhodes Hall Road in Dayton.

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Pictured clockwise from left: New Jersey Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo, New Jersey Council of County Colleges President Dr. Aaron R. Fichtner, Hudson County Community College President Dr. Christopher Reber, and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 Business Manager Greg Lalevee.

Under the articulation agreement terms, IUOE Local 825 members are dually enrolled in the Union apprenticeship program and the College, and will earn an HCCC Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Technical Studies. Participants will be awarded up to 30 credits over the course of the program for union apprenticeship training, and an additional 30 credits for successful completion of HCCC courses.

“Hudson County Community College is proud to partner with IUOE Local 825 in building a more educated and highly skilled workforce. This agreement will advance career opportunities, benefit our local economy, and support the advancement of equity,” HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber stated. “Partnerships like this are valuable and transformative.”

The 18-month program, funded in part through a grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, is one of only two such programs in New Jersey, and the only program at a community college. It is considered a model for future union and educational partnerships in New Jersey and nationwide.

At the event, Dr. Reber and IUOE Business Manager Greg Lalevee welcomed New Jersey Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo, and New Jersey Council of County Colleges President Dr. Aaron R. Fichtner. Commissioner Asaro-Angelo spoke, and IUOE Executive Board Vice President and Training Director William Vaccaro led a tour of the IUOE training site.

“With rapid technological advancements driving our changing world, we recognize the necessity to have a better educated workforce to close that divide,” explained Gregory Lalevee, Business Manager of International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 825. “Today’s agreement is a proud moment for our organization as we partner with HCCC to innovate our training programs.”

The IUOE Local 825 apprenticeship program four-year curriculum is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Students take courses in mathematics, physics, electrical, technical writing, and mechanical engineering. An average of 12 core competencies must be learned within each curriculum year. Subjects include heavy equipment operator training, emergency response, hazardous waste operations, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.

HCCC is a Registered Apprenticeship Sponsor with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships. The College is involved in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs with local businesses, construction trade unions, and area governmental agencies.

IUOE Local 825 has more than 8,200 members throughout New Jersey, and in New York’s Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Delaware and Sullivan Counties. The Union invests millions of dollars in training and equipment to ensure members are the best at what they do, and to provide contractors with safe and efficient workmanship.

This event also marked National Apprenticeship Week, a nationwide celebration during which education, labor, and industry come together to showcase the value of Registered Apprenticeships for rebuilding the nation’s economy. National Apprenticeship Week also provides an opportunity to address pressing challenges such as supply-chain demands, clean energy, addressing public health and cybersecurity issues, and rebuilding infrastructure.

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