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Labor Management Education Committee – Lee Graham, Spring 2021

Spring is here and for Labor Management, it is a chance to continue the many great opportunities and projects we have been working on straight through the winter.

In January, we virtually hosted our 18th Annual Upper Peninsula Signatory Contractor Roundtable.  We met with representatives from AGC, Aquila, Barton Malow, Closner Construction, CR Meyer & Sons Company, Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District, Durocher Marine/Kokosing Industrial, Eagle Mine, Enbridge, FA Industrial Services, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, Gundlach Champion, James Peterson Sons, Lakenen Crane & Rigging Service, MAA, Marquette-Alger RESA, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Michigan Works!, Northern Michigan University, Payne & Dolan, Roy Ness Contracting & Sales, UP Building Trades and UP Construction Council.  Although it looked a little different this year as we have all adjusted to virtual meetings, it was still a very successful Roundtable where relationships were strengthened and good dialogue and conversation continued between Local 324 and our Contractor partners.

In February, we also hosted our 10th Annual Bay Area Signatory Contractor Roundtable virtually.  We were joined by representatives from AGC, Barton Malow, Champagne & Marx Excavating Inc., Dobson Industrial Inc., Enbridge, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, Fisher Contracting Co., Great Lakes Fusion, Hardman Construction, M & M Excavating Company, MDOT, Michigan CAT, Pyramid Paving & Contracting Co. and USDOL Office of Apprenticeship.

In the months ahead, we will have two more virtual Roundtables for the Southeast and Grand Rapids areas and we also anticipate them being successful where partnerships are strengthened.

For 44 years, Michigan Apprenticeship Steering Committee, Inc. (MASCI) has been one of the state’s leading advocates for opportunities that can be provided through Registered Apprenticeships.  MASCI brings together labor, industry, educators, government, public and lawmakers, with the goal of increasing the opportunities, profile and standards that build long and meaningful careers in construction and manufacturing.  In December, MASCI virtually held their 2020 Excellence in Apprentice of the Year Awards Meeting.  The Manufacturing winner was UAW Local 659’s Sara Olney and the Construction winner was Operating Engineers 324’s Danielle Athey.  Congratulations to both winners – their dedication to their craft did not go unnoticed!

Many of our outreach events have had to transition from in-person to virtual and yet we continue to look forward to any opportunities to represent Operating Engineers 324.   Please note some of the upcoming events that we will be participating in.  The Michigan Safety Virtual Conference 90th Anniversary 2.0 was held April 13th and 14th.  The Michigan Safety Conference is a volunteer organization dedicated to promoting the improvement of workplace safety and health practices in the state of Michigan.  During this two-day event, participants were provided with quality workplace health and safety education.  Please visit to find out more information.

MiCareerQuest is a career exploration experience that allows students to rotate between four high-demand quadrants: advanced manufacturing, construction, health sciences and information technology.  It exposes students to a broad range of exciting, rewarding career opportunities as they prepare for their futures!  There are multiple MiCareerQuest virtual events coming up around the state: West (Grand Rapids) was April 21st, West Central was April 22nd, Northwest (Traverse City) and Southwest (Kalamazoo) is May 12th. The MiCareerQuest South (Hudson) and East (Flint) dates are to be determined.

The Michigan Construction Career Days is an event where opportunities in and around the construction industry are shown to students, school superintendents, administrators, teachers and counselors about successful careers in the trades.  Normally this hands-on event would be held outdoors, but supporters and partners are anticipating to showcase these opportunities by bringing the event to YOU – virtually in your home or in a classroom setting.  Please visit for updates to this event.

Stay healthy and warm – Summer is right around the corner!

Lee Graham


Executive Director

Labor-Management Education Committee