Training program assists community and industry

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Seek to aspire, you are responsible for your journey, dress for success and speak the Kings English is advice Fred Brown shared with the first graduating class of the Kingsley Association’s Industrial Mechanics Program.

Like a proud father, Brown, Kingsley’s assistant director of program development, encouraged and counseled the graduates to continue on the path of working to better themselves and the conditions of their family. He indicated that this program is just the beginning of things to come.

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TEACHER AND STUDENT—Robert W. Chambers, CEO of RWIV Construction and Renita Harrison, a newly hired employee, talk shop during the Industrial Mechanics Program Kingsley Association graduation. (Photos by Diane I Daniels)

The Kingsley Association, known for meeting the needs of the community for 119 years, through the Industrial Mechanics training program maintains and extends its purpose to provide a variety of programs and services to neighborhood residents in East Liberty, Larimer, and other East End communities. The organization says it service area consists of 26 zip codes.

According to Brown the program is a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental industrial mechanical concepts, principles, and equipment. For four months and covering 105 course hours, the unisex group of participants learned common industrial topics such as precision measurements, blue print reading, tools, rigging, ladders, scaffolds, hydraulic pneumatics, lubrication, bearings, flexible belts, mechanical drives, vibration, alignment, electricity, and safety.

A collaborative effort with the Three Rivers Area Labor Management Committee and RWIV, LLC Construction, Brown indicated that the Industrial Mechanics Program is an initiative of their Urban Green Growth Collaborative, which prepares area residents for employment in manufacturing. Fields include professional machinery building, rebuilding, and retrofitting, focusing on: robotics, automation, custom machine design tool and die casting, drilling, pipes and valves, laser cutting, oil and gas, HVAC, mechanics, and welding.

“It has been a pleasure to work with the Kingsley and the participants,” said Robert W. Chambers, the executive director of RWIV. Continuing, he added that his firm taught the blue print section of the class as well as touched on the basics of the construction field.

“We prepared the participants to take their test and I am glad to say that they all passed,” he said. Chambers also has hired two people from the class to work for his company. Jay Butler and Renita Harrison will work on a part time basis. “I’ve always wanted to work in the construction field,” said Harrison. Working as an estimator she says provides her the opportunity to fulfill her dream. “This program took a lot of dedication and commitment,” said the West Mifflin mother of two. By her side during the graduation ceremony, Dameon her husband said he is very proud of his wife for her accomplishment.

RWIV Construction, for the past year has been providing all phases of building design and construction services throughout the region. Chambers said his company thrives on connections and brings together the knowledge, skills and craftsmanship necessary to execute building projects.

“Our goal with this program is to provide good training with the hope for the participants to receive employment,” said David Jones, Kingsley’s program manager and trainer. “We are so grateful to our trainers, Robert Chambers and Mark Lawecki.”

He pointed out that the program was made possible with the assistance of the Three Rivers Area Labor Management Committee, a nonprofit labor management organization.

“The Three Rivers Area Labor Management Committee’s role in this project was applying for and obtaining the grant from the State Department of Labor and Industry for the training,” said Anne Pastor the group’s representative. “Discussions have been taking place for years concerning the need for basic training in the heavy construction industry. She said conversations are continuing around the topics of pre-apprenticeship programs and employment opportunities. In existence for 25 years she says things are changing. “We use to have money for training programs, but now with the workforce needs changing there is a need for more programs like the Industrial Mechanics Program.

With the theme answering the call; setting the foundation and building a legacy, the Kingsley located in the East End since 1923 carries a mission to inspire and promote community growth as a physical anchor; social, wellness, and service program providers as well as through leadership. Its programs consist of Healthy Community, Family Services, Education and Training, Community Sustainability and Development.

Looking to continue to host and sponsor programs like the Industrial Mechanics Program, Jones says residents should contact the Kinsley at 412- 661-8751 to see where they fit in the upcoming programs.

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