The Washington State Boilers Symposium steering committee is celebrating its 10th anniversary by getting ready for the next event, scheduled on August 12 and 13, 2015. This unique event was founded by Renton Technical College (RTC) with Bates Technical College, the Western Washington Stationary Engineers Training Trust, and several key, regional employers to insure the commercial building workforce remains current in its state continuing education requirements.
What began as a humble effort 10 years ago has become a premiere industry event in Western Washington. “We started this event literally on the back of a napkin,” chuckled Jim Burnson, Apprenticeship Director for International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 286, “and it has exceeded our expectations as an annual exchange with industry experts.”
“The effort between Bates and RTC, the Western Washington Stationary Engineers, and committed employers has shown that incredible training can be offered at a competitive value,” says Tony McNamara, President of Ch20 and Symposium Steering Committee Chair. “Usually, refresher training comparable to ours costs thousands of dollars, but thanks to generous company and union sponsorships, we have been able to keep the cost of our event low.”
The Symposium refresher exam is recognized by the Cities of Tacoma and Seattle, helping incumbent workers remain current with their continuing education requirements. The proceeds from each event provides scholarships for students at Bates and RTC, ensuring more talented people pursue this dynamic and in-demand occupation. “It wasn’t enough to offer training – we wanted to make sure the revenue of the event is used to bring in the next generation of workers,” explained McNamara. “We’re keeping our incumbents current with industry practice, and cultivating the next workforce at the same time.”
For more event information, contact Heather Winfrey, Executive Dean of Workforce, Trades and Economic Development, at 425-235-2352 ext. 5751. To register for the symposium, click here.