Bloomington-Normal union has trained plumbers, pipe fitters for over a century | Local Business



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This screenshot of a promotional video for plumbers and pipe fitters Local 99 shows trainees learning a trade.


Provided by plumbers and pipe fitters Local 99.

BLOOMINGTON – When you drive down the street and see a tall building rise, workers from Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 99 have their hands on it.

And of course together with carpenters, painters, drywallers and other craftsmen.

From large organizations like State Farm, YMCA, Carle Health, and OSF HealthCare to smaller restaurants and bars, all have benefited from plumbing and pipe fitting workers, according to training coordinator Scott Spaid.

He added that their 385-member union, which was founded in 1899, is over 100 years old. They work in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors as well as in the installation of water pipes and treatment systems.

“When the Clinton power plant came, we were all involved in town,” he said. “When the Mitsubishi plant came into town, we were involved.”

“Rivian is a big deal,” he added. “At the moment they have every tool out there.”

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He said that their trainees will be taught a wide range of skills during their five-year program. In the sanitary area, this includes working with PVC, copper or cast iron pipes.

Spaid said the apprentices learn to either solder or solder copper tubing, glue PVC tubing, or join cast iron tubing without hubs, and must pass an exam that covers state codes by their fourth year.

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In this 2005 pantagraph file photo, McLean’s Jack Gibson with Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 99 and Mackinaw’s Xcell Mechanical Systems employee are installing refrigerant piping for the air conditioning system at Bent Elementary School in Bloomington. In the summer of 2005, the school installed 19 new air conditioners.


PANTAGRAPH FILE PHOTO

“When you get into the tube fitting, you talk about larger steel tubing,” he said. “Here we come to welding, pipe assembly, and that takes a lot of math, including algebra and trigonometry and heavy rigging.”

Local 99 also offers heating, ventilation and air conditioning training. Spaid said this means working on refrigeration units in grocery stores and heating applications like ovens and boilers.

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“Some people who come to our program will specialize,” he said. “There are others who can do almost anything; It is up to everyone to decide for themselves what they want to do. “

Overall, the training program requires 248 hours of attendance and 1700 hours of field time annually. Spaid said apprentices are paid to learn the trade instead of spending thousands of dollars on college degrees.

“School doesn’t cost you anything, it’s an on-the-job program,” he said, adding that education is covered as long as you stay in the job when you quit.

“The craft industry is declining across the board so that younger generations are interested in it,” he said. “It comes from our kids being raised these days to go to school and college.”

Spaid said some people are naturally more interested in crafts and mechanics and would prefer to work with their hands.



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In this file photo, 99 plumbers and pipe workers union members march through downtown Bloomington in the Labor Day 2017 parade.


David’s sample


According to the education coordinator, after completing the program, apprentices could start right away at $ 80,000 to $ 100,000 per year. In addition, if they wish, they can do their associate degree for an additional 120 hours of teaching time.

“It’s definitely an essential skill,” he said. “The labor shortage comes into play.”

“We sacrifice our bodies – it’s an affair of the heart,” Spaid continued.

“It’s not at a desk where it’s heated and cooled all day,” he said, adding that it doesn’t dock with office work.

“We take pride in what we do at the risk of our own health,” said Spaid. “That is one of the reasons why we are well paid.”

For more information on the Local 99 training program, please visit www.plumbersua99.com.

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17 historical clips from BloNo celebrating Labor Day

Perform the trumpets

Perform the trumpets

Runs in The Pantagraph on Tuesday September 5th, 1978.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

Parade climax

Parade climax

Runs in The Pantagraph on Tuesday September 2nd, 1997.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

Miners

Miners

Runs in The Pantagraph on Monday September 3rd, 1951.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

Team rider

Team rider

Runs in The Pantagraph on Monday September 3rd, 1951.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

Meat laden swimmer

Meat laden swimmer

Runs in The Pantagraph on Monday September 3rd, 1951.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

Hard work

Hard work

Runs in The Pantagraph on Tuesday September 7th, 1976.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

At the end of summer

At the end of summer

Runs in The Pantagraph on Sunday August 27, 1978.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

Labor Day

Labor Day

Runs in The Pantagraph on Monday September 1st, 1941.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

Popular pastime

Popular pastime

Runs in The Pantagraph on Monday September 1st, 1941.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

So life is!

So life is!

Runs in The Pantagraph on Monday September 1st, 1941.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

Runs in The Pantagraph on Tuesday September 5th, 1989.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

Watch the parade

Watch the parade

Runs in The Pantagraph on Tuesday September 5th, 1989.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

Thousands line the route

Thousands line the route

Runs in The Pantagraph on Thursday September 3rd, 1998.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

The normal community marching band

The normal community marching band

Runs in The Pantagraph on Tuesday September 6th, 1994.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

work

work

Runs in The Pantagraph on Monday September 4th, 1978.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

Dr. Leslie Quiram

Dr.  Leslie Quiram

Published in The Pantagraph on Monday September 1st, 1997.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

Labor Day observance in country clubs extends over the weekend

Labor Day observance in country clubs extends over the weekend

Published in The Pantagraph on Sunday September 3rd, 1933.

See the excerpt.


The Pantagraph archive

Contact Brendan Denison at (309) 820-3238. Follow Brendan Denison on Twitter: @BrendanDenison

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