By Mike Gutwig
Operating Engineers Local 701—a major sponsor of the Clackamas County Fair and the Canby Rodeo this year— promoted the operating engineer trade throughout the Aug. 17-22 event. The union training center, which is located in Canby, set up its popular mobile simulator at the fair, staffed by Training Director Lonnie Lands. Business reps and instructors shared shifts throughout the week.
“The simulator is a great recruiting tool,” says Local 701 Business Manager Jimbo Anderson. “Instead of waiting for prospects to come to us, we go to them. We see a lot of interest, especially in the rural areas of the state. It’s exciting stuff.”
The mobile simulator was a major investment of the training center using the Construction Industry Promotion (CIP) fund. As part of the union’s collective bargaining agreement, 3 cents per compensable hour goes into the fund. The simulator was popular at the Clackamas County Fair. Lands shared information with many young men and women who showed interest in the trade. And kids as young as 6 years old enjoyed the full motion simulator, though most thought it was a video game. Local 701 showcased its van with union insignias and American flag in the Canby Kiwanis Kiddie Parade on opening day.
Anderson said the mobile simulator will be on the road throughout the year, and he will schedule future dates for any group that is interested.