The National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) recently joined members of the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) Local 133 and staff from the Elevator Industry Work Preservation Fund (EIWPF) in Austin, Texas, for an informational fair showcasing the industry’s most comprehensive education and training program for elevator technicians/constructors. NEIEP Development staff and Area Coordinators traveled from the program’s new, state-of-the-art Instructor Training Center in Warwick, Rhode Island and IUEC Locals from across the country to set up the event in the capital of the Lone Star State.
Along with having what one ElevatorInfo writer would argue is the best BBQ in the country, Austin is home to a number of industry stakeholders. Elected officials, company representatives and owners, building owners, contractors, and elevator constructors all visited the fair to learn about the education program and see demonstrations of NEIEP’s new and upcoming course materials for IUEC apprentices and mechanics. Through state-of-the-art classes held on-site in locations across the US – and online platforms IUEC members can access from their homes – NEIEP training gives IUEC elevator constructors the foundational and specialized skills they need to safely and efficiently build, modernize, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair complex pieces of conveyance machinery including elevators, escalators, moving walks, Automated People Movers, and more.
Between stops at each of the stations at the event, we had opportunities to speak with lawmakers interested in the value of USDOL-Registered Apprenticeship training, company representatives who employ the talented elevator constructors coming out of NEIEP, and individuals who help to make decisions as to which elevator contractor is the best fit for a particular project. We were also able to speak with three attendees who are currently working as elevator constructors in the field for TK Elevator.
Jarred Baker, Bobby Harper, and Pat Coker all traveled out to the NEIEP fair in Austin to meet Lester White, NEIEP’s Department Head of Development, and some of the talented subject matter experts who develop and implement the curriculum and hands-on lab materials featured in NEIEP’s new and upcoming training. All proud members of IUEC Local 133, the elevator constructors we spoke with shared with us how they valued their work, were enthusiastic about the industry as a whole, and wanted to show their support for the program that sets up IUEC members for safe, successful careers.
Jarred told us about the relationships he’s built with his IUEC brothers and sisters, emphasizing how the people he works with always look out for each other and always have each other’s backs. In a trade where elevator technicians/constructors routinely encounter a myriad of hazards on the job site, this is especially important. Bobby, a third-generation elevator constructor, agreed with Jarred and went on to share how important it is to be able to talk to others in the trade – people who know exactly what challenges elevator constructors face in their work with the complex equipment and systems they work with daily.
Both Jarred and Bobby touched on the impressive benefits package the IUEC provides to member elevator constructors. When comparing the IUEC’s benefits packages to others, Pat described it as “the best in the country.” Through the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan, IUEC members and their families have access to a generous and comprehensive schedule of medical, prescription drug, mental health/substance abuse, dental, vision, and hearing benefits. Once an IUEC member is eligible for benefits under the Health Benefit Plan, full coverage is also extended to the member’s spouse and children with no additional premium costs.
In addition to providing an extensive health care coverage plan, the IUEC worked with employers to establish the Elevator Constructors Annuity and 401(k) Retirement Plan – one of the largest defined contribution multiemployer pension plans in the nation. This is in addition to the pension IUEC members receive through the Pension Plan and Social Security. With the National Elevator Industry Pension Plan – one of the largest defined benefit multiemployer pension plans in the US – as early as age 55, a member with 5 years of service can retire and begin receiving a monthly lifetime pension benefit from the Plan that cannot be reduced.
“This trade will provide you with a great future,” Pat added. “Sky’s the limit.”
To learn more about the benefits package IUEC elevator constructors receive, visit https://www.elevatorinfo.org/elevator-technicians