A three-day “barn raising” has taken the Painters & Tapers Regional Training Center to a whole new level.
The 7,440 square-foot training center located at 135th and NE Whitaker Way in Portland has been an open one-room warehouse since the Painters and Drywall Finishers joint apprenticeship training committees purchased the building six years ago. Their Phase II plan was to create classrooms, offices, and support space on the mezzanine level, which is separated from the noisy, hands-on training section of the training center below.
So, for three days — from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 —17 apprentice drywall finishers worked alongside seven journeyman drywall hangers from four signatory contractors to complete the plan. The apprentices got hands-on experience with all types of finishes—from basic warehouse taping, to a high-end smooth wall finish. Phelps and instructor Dave Gray were always nearby to answer questions and offer advice.
“This was a perfect project for our Level 2 and 3 block class training,” said Apprenticeship Coordinator Jim Phelps. Phelps introduced block training earlier this year to take the place of night classes.
Each apprentice got class hour credit for their work.
A week later, painter apprentices painted all the walls and ceilings, and they too received class credit for their work.
“It’s not a mock-up project,” said Phelps. “These apprentices can look back and take ownership in their training center.”
The project is slated for completion by mid-January. Schommer & Sons is the general contractor. Companies that contributed to the project were:
- Western Partitions Inc.
- Performance Contracting Inc.
- KNEZ Building Materials
- Anning Johnson
- Harlen’s Drywall