HCCC, labor union, reach deal for simultaneous apprenticeship & associate degree program

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Hudson County Community College and the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 have reached a deal to offer a simultaneous apprenticeship and associate degree program for union members.

Photo courtesy of Hudson County Community College.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The college and the labor union signed an articulation agreement last week, which says IUOE Local 825 members are dually enrolled in the union apprenticeship program and the college, where they 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,” HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber said in a statement.

“This agreement will advance career opportunities, benefit our local economy, and support the advancement of equity. 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.

“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, the business manager of IUOE Local 825.

“[This] 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.

Additionally, HCCC is a Registered Apprenticeship Sponsor with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships.

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