Local 38 Members Provided
CITY MULTI Service HVAC Course

A special 3-day, 24 hour course covering Variable Refrigerant Flow, the CITY MULTI Service Course, was held in Local 38’s Santa Rosa Training Center earlier this month.

The class, attended by 13 Local 38 Journeymen entailed bringing in a special Mitsubishi trainer, one of five such trainers developed by the United Association in conjunction with Mitsubishi. The unit, delivered by semi-truck, will make the rounds of UA District 5 (the 11 western states) training facilities, and is scheduled for Portland next. Mitsubishi Area Service Manager Doug Buch was on hand to teach the 3-day program.

The course is designed to give HVAC Service technicians an in-depth understanding of the technologies used in the CITY MULTI system. Concepts and theory on CITY MULTI equipment and Variable Refrigeration Flow were covered in the classroom, while the trainer provided those attending an opprtunity for hands on training and troubleshooting excercises.

"We’re excited about working with manufacturers and the United Association to provide this type of training for our members," said Training Director Steve Mazzola. "This is the latest technology in the field, and it ensures that our members will be on the cutting edge of providing these services."

Each journeyman completing a course received a Mitsubishi Certification verifying their ability to work on, and knoweldge of, the CITY MULTI system.

13 Local 38 members attended a City Multi Service Course held earlier this month at the Santa Rosa Training Facility. Pictured here are from (left to right) Aaron Distefano, John Delgado, Ryan Enold, Jason Crayne, James Burke, Vince Scharf, Martin Vizcaino, Matthew Edgeman, Greg Fuss, Richard McConnell, Randy Fanucchi, Mitsubishi Electric Area Service Manager Doug Buch, who taught the course, Local 38 Business Agent Frank Reardon and Training Director Steve Mazzola (the last three pictured below). Also attending the class, but not pictured here, was Mike Rydman. Click here for photos

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Local 38 Instructors once again attended the annual UA Instructor Training program at Washtenaw Community College in Ypsilati, Michigan in August. Pictured above are the attending instructors (back row from left to right) Brian Price, Nathan Gamble, Training Director Steve Mazzola, Ed Miltimore, Chris Beering, Dave Gordon, Kevin Dimic; front row (from left to right): Jonathan Louie, Michael Rydman, Paul Rynhoud, Bill Flanery, Anthony Valdez, and Curriculum Coordinator Liam Devlin. Below are the three Local 38 attendees graduating from the 5-year program, Training Director Steve Mazzola, and instructors Kevin Dimic and Bill Flanery.

UA Instructor Training

Local 38 Instructors Attend UA
Instructor Training At Washtenaw College

Local 38 has always been dedicated to training. Our state-of-the-art training facilities in San Francisco and Santa Rosa, along with the wide variety of Supplemental Journeyman and Apprentice courses, stand as proud evidence of the understanding that we sell skills and knowledge. Our signatory contractors are able to compete successfully in a world where non-union workers are paid far less because the knowledge, ability and skill of Local 38’s members keep them competitive. That’s why the Local 38 Training Department scours our union looking for the finest technicians in the trades to teach in their Apprentice and Journeyman classes.

But over the years it has become apparent that a great plumber or fitter is not necessarily a great teacher. That is why the United Association established the Instructor Training Program, held annually at Washtenaw Community College in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

This year 11 Local 38 instructors attended the week long program. Attending were Brian Price, Nathan Gamble, Ed Miltimore, Chris Beering, Dave Gordon, Kevin Dimic, Jonathan Louie, Michael Rydman, Paul Rynhoud, Bill Flanery, and Anthony Valdez. Also attending were Local 38 Training Director Steve Mazzola and Curriculum Coordinator Liam Devlin.

Of particular note this year were three Local 38 attendees who graduated from the program including instructors Kevin Dimic and Bill Flanery, and Training Director Steve Mazzola.

"This is a great program that offers outstanding opportunities to our instructors," said Training Director Steve Mazzola upon returning from the week of schooling. "We know our instructors are among the most skilled journeymen in the trades. But this program is a great chance for our instructors to learn the teaching trade in addition to their mastery of the pipe trades."

Perhaps just as important is that instructors get to spend time in classrooms with other UA instructors from throughout the country.


The United Association Instructor Training Program is a five-year, 200-hour certification program, held at Washtenaw Community College in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the site of the UA’s Midwest Training Center. Instructors attending the program receive 100 hours of "professional" training, such as educational theory, lesson preparation, test preparation, and computer skills for educators. Classes are taught by college professors, and cover much of the same ground students would receive in teacher credential programs.

Instructors also attend 100 hours of trade-related courses, taught by United Association experts from throughout the US and Canada, and covering all aspects of the pipe trades.

Local 38 has been sending instructors to the UA Training Program for years, first when it was located at Purdue University, and now to Washtenaw. All Local 38’s instructors are graduates from, or currently participating in, the program.

Upon completion of the program, instructors receive a certification verifying they are qualified United Association instructors. Many instructors also graduate with Associate of Arts degrees in construction technology, which requires additional optional classes.


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Happy New Year. I hope you and your family had a nice holiday season, and are as excited as I am about the upcoming year.

As you are probably aware, I usually spend a good portion of this column talking about the stories and events covered in Pipelines. This time I want to talk about, a recent innovative class and the Local 38 Training Program in general.

valuable skills

Local 38 has over 200 signatory contractors covering all aspects of the piping, heating and air condition trades doing all sorts of jobs, large and small. I sit across the table from many of those contractors negotiating wages and working conditions for our members, I can tell you unequivocally that they all have one thing in common; they sign the Local 38 contract because they are interested in our training program.

Let’s face it, anyone can turn a wrench. All you have to do is go down to Home Depot, Lowe’s or Ace Hardware and you can find all the tools and materials you need to do most plumbing and pipefitting jobs. Being able to hang pipe or install a lavy is no longer a premium skill, and it is certainly not out of the reach of our cheaper, non-union competition.

But our contractors are willing to pay premium wages for Local 38’s workers. Why? Because they have the one tool that nobody can buy at the local hardware store; knowledge. When our contractors pick up the phone and call the dispatch hall, they know they are going to get a journeyman Plumber, Fitter or HVAC Technician, an expert with the knowledge and skills to do the job.

staying current

Of course much of that knowledge comes from being in the field. Our members are working in the trade on a daily basis, and understand how to get the job done. But even that experience, valuable as it is, is not enough.

Nowhere is the changing nature of our trade more apparent than in the heating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R) trade. To do even the most basic service work requires extensive knowledge of computers, software and electronics. Each company has their own proprietary systems, and installing, maintaining and servicing the equipment requires enormous amounts of knowledge and skill.

That’s not to say the requirements of being a plumber or fitter are changing just as fast. AutoCAD, Trimble, Medical Gas, Orbital Welding, PEX...these are just a few of the technologies that are transforming our industry.

If you’re planning on retiring in 2015 you may not need all these skills. But if you’re going to be working for the next 10-20 years, you better be looking ahead, and you better figure out how you are going to learn the technology and equipment you are going to see and use in the field.

union training

That’s where the Local 38 Training Department comes into the picture. Whether its apprentice training or supplemental journeyman classes, the Local 38 Training Department provides FREE, I repeat FREE, training in exactly the areas you need to do your job. We have two first-class, state-of-the-art training centers with millions of dollars of equipment that is simply unavailable anywhere else.

Much of this equipment, along with the curriculums that make use of it, has been specifically designed by the best minds in the pipe trades, just to make sure you can learn what you need to do to do your job.

Equally important are the dedicated instructors who put in the time and effort to insure that Local 38’s members are the best trained in the trades.

our future

It is easy to sing the praises of political action, legislation, protecting our jurisdiction or negotiating contracts and Project Labor Agreements. But the truth is that the knowledge and training of our members probably has more to do with the future of Local 38 than any other single factor. We can’t win political battles or negotiate wages and benefits without workers who are able to do the work at the highest levels.

So I want to say a special thank you to our Training Department not only for the CITY MULTI class, but for all the Journeyman and Apprentice training they so painstakingly put together. And I want to thank each and every member who puts in the time and effort to take advantage of the classes and opportunities available to them.

Your training, skills and knowledge are the cornerstones that make everything else in this union possible.


I also want to say a word of thanks to the Local 38 apprentice instructors who attended the UA Instructor Training Program in Ann Arbor, both this year and in the past. We have great plumbers and fitters and HVAC/C technicians teaching. But teaching doesn’t come naturally to any of us. It is a trade, just like our trades, and the UA program allows them to learn the trade of passing on information to the next generation of Local 38 members.

pipetrades scholarship

Speaking of education, I want to draw your attention to the California Pipe Trades Scholarship information on page 2. The Pipe Trades Scholarship provide another opportunity for UA families to build a brighter future. A number of Local 38 members children have received the scholarship grants in the past, and I hope we can continue to use this vital resource.

in memoriam

Finally, a word of condolence to those Local 38 families who lost their loved ones in 2015. Many of those we lost were pioneering members of Local 38. We will continue to appreciate their contributions and mourn their loss.

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