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BLET to open new Education & Training Center

CLEVELAND, July 18 — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen is proud to announce the opening of its state-of-the-art Education & Training Center. Located at BLET National Division headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, the new facility will host its first class on July 21, 2014 — a workshop for BLET General Chairman.

Construction of and equipment for the Training Center was funded primarily by a grant from the Teamsters Rail Conference. The new technology in the Training Center also gives the BLET the ability to expand training platforms, thanks to Delegates attending the BLET’s 2010 National Convention, who approved a measure to fund the BLET Education & Training Department with an additional $1 per month, per member.

“The Teamsters Rail Conference as well as the Delegates to the 2010 convention deserve our gratitude for their foresight in supporting the Education & Training Department,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “Their actions will help train and educate current and future generations of BLET officers and members, securing the strength and success of our Brotherhood for decades to come.”

President Pierce said the new classroom environment will become fully interactive with unrestricted collaboration capabilities, allowing for the inclusion of offsite instructors and officers using video and Internet-based computer technologies.

“I am proud of the work that has gone into establishing our new Education & Training Center,” President Pierce said. “This is so much more than a brick and mortar training center. We have established one of the most modern classroom environments available, affording our membership access to the best classroom technology that exists today. Although construction efforts were put on hold until the future of the Standard Building was known, the provisions of the sale agreement have BLET leasing back space in the Standard Building for two to three years. We could not wait any longer to create our Training Center and we worked hard to put the majority of the Rail Conference grant money into technology that will go with BLET once we relocate in the Cleveland area, as compared to actual construction costs.”

BLET National Secretary-Treasurer Bill Walpert, who has served as Director of the BLET Education & Training Department for more than 20 years, said: “I believe the new Education & Training Center will help give our members the most comprehensive level of education available in all of organized labor. By 2016, I believe our officers will be the most prepared and best trained in our Brotherhood’s history.”

Jason Wright, Coordinator of the BLET Education & Training Department, said the Department intends to expand its curriculum to include online training.

“Online training will become an invaluable part of our future training programs, providing online modules that members can visit as often as they wish so that they may stay up to date on the latest material,” he said.

Wright also said there are five opportunities for workshops at the new Education & Training Center throughout the remainder of 2014. The five remaining workshops are as follows: General Chairman, July 21-24 (Check out July 25); Local Chairman, August 17-22 (Check out August 23); Secretary-Treasurer, October 13-17 (Check out to be announced); Advanced Local Chairman, November 2-7 (Check out November 8); and
Secretary-Treasurer, December 15-18 (Check out December 19).

“We are looking forward to helping our members get the level of education they need, to have an advantage in the field, and to reflect the strength of this great union,” President Pierce said.

Friday, July 18, 2014
bentley@ble-t.org

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