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Operating Engineers 324 apprentice Joe Prusi named Apprentice of the Year

Operating Engineers 324 apprentice Joe Prusi named Apprentice of the Year

The Upper Peninsula Construction Council named U.P. apprentice Joe Prusi their Apprentice of the Year

HOWELL, Mich. – The Operating Engineers 324 (OE324) is proud to announce apprentice Joe Prusi was named Apprentice of the Year by the Upper Peninsula Construction Council (UPCC) on Saturday.

“It’s an honor– it’s a huge honor just to be nominated,” Prusi said. “It’s good to know that there’s people that appreciate the apprenticeship programs and the trades, and we need to continue to build a stronger skilled trades workforce and support the quality training programs, like OE324’s, that attract them.”

The Upper Peninsula Construction Council, an organization made up of over 250 quality construction contractors located across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, held its 7th Annual Apprentice of the Year event Saturday night. Prusi was one of 16 nominees honored at the dinner and among five to be interviewed for the designation of Apprentice of the Year. Another Operating Engineers 324 apprentice, Chad Billings, was among the top five selected by UPCC.

“We are very proud of Joe’s hard work and exceptional dedication, and know he is one of many highly-skilled apprentices in Operating Engineers’ 324 training program,” said John Osika, Training Director at Operating Engineers 324. “Thank you to the Upper Peninsula Construction Council for supporting stand-out apprentices like Joe and Chad and supporting the skilled trades in the Upper Peninsula. With the opening of our new training center in Gladstone last year, we look forward to continue working in partnership with UPCC to build the Upper Peninsula’s skilled workforce.”

In addition to Prusi, OE324 apprentice Corey Chandler was named Apprentice of the Year by the Michigan Apprenticeship Steering Committee Inc. (MASCI) earlier this year. Chandler was also named the 2017 Apprentice of the Year by the Associated General Contractors of Michigan.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Joe, Corey and Chad, who have gone above and beyond the requirements of our training program and demonstrated professionalism and leadership both in the classroom and on the job,” said John Hartwell, Apprenticeship Coordinator for Operating Engineers 324. “Every year, we train many of the men and women who get top-notch careers in construction and keep our economy running, and the individual accomplishments of Joe and Corey stand out as some of the best.”

In 2017, the Operating Engineers 324 expanded access to training with the opening of a new, state-of-the-art facility in Gladstone. In addition to training future operating engineers, the facility—outfitted with a confined space classroom– is being used to update journeyman skills and safety procedures, as well as host career exploration for Upper Peninsula students.