BY: G. DAVID SLOAD, ABC KEYSTONE PRESIDENT-CEO
When we hear the phrase, “It’s that time of year, again,” we think of a special date or holiday. At ABC, it means it is time to start a new year of apprenticeship classes. What will the 2020/2021 school year look like? The good news is we have learned a lot from having to finish the 2019/2020 year virtually due to COVID-19.
We now know two things for certain. COVID-19 is still with us, and the best environment for teaching valuable skills to tradespeople is through hands-on training and in-person instruction. The good news is we will return this fall to this model of education. Safety should always be a top priority in our industry, and just like a contractor doing a safety jobsite analysis, ABC Keystone has done a safety analysis treating COVID-19 as a jobsite hazard to ensure the safety of our apprentices.
Our number one priority is to keep the students and the Chapter staff safe and well during these unprecedented times. We have reviewed the CDC and Pennsylvania protocols and implemented this guidance to allow our instructors to conduct onsite classes. As a result, we have developed a written building policy that will be delivered to all students and their employers. Due to the times we are in, there cannot be any exceptions to these policies. ABC does not wish to debate the science or political noise that is being shared by our media. We just want to do what we do best and focus on training for the benefit of the members and their employees.
All persons entering the building for apprenticeship classes (in addition to career development and safety training, meetings and visits) will be required to fill out a health screening form to gain entry. Once in the building, all persons will be required to wear a face mask or face shield. If an individual can show that they have restrictions from being able to wear a mask or shield they will be directed to one of our staff to discuss safe alternatives. All classrooms have been inventoried to provide for social distancing, and additional evening deep-cleaning services have been added for those classrooms that are being used. Throughout the building we have added many hand sanitizing stations and protocol signage.
While some of these protocols create an inconvenience, we need to remember why we are here: to prepare the next generation of construction professionals and to help continue their career pathway. This is a temporary inconvenience for a higher reward, and we thank everyone for your cooperation.
Here’s to the class of 2020/2021. Welcome and good luck!
To learn more about apprenticeship at ABC Keystone, please visit: abckeystonecenter.org
Posted September 8, 2020