Union Training

Traditional university programs aren’t for everyone, and for those with a knack for building stuff, fixing problems, or thinking through tough engineering issues, Middlesex County has a variety of paid on-the-job union training programs offered through local unions.

The vocational training and apprenticeship programs at the Carpenters’ Local 254 and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825 in Middlesex County are rigorous boot camps that develop the technical skills of apprentices and journeypersons in a variety of building trades. Each year, union training programs turn hundreds of young professionals into highly skilled and workforce-ready builders and tradespeople.

The IUOE Local 825 educates and trains their apprentices in competitive fields of heavy machinery operation, mechanics, and surveying. These experiences prepare them for a dynamic industrial discipline while also optimizing their ability to find fulfilling lifelong employment.

The Carpenters’ Local 254 provides free on-the-job training in the building trades that advances not only their skill but, their salary earning potential.

Middlesex County residents who choose to take advantage of these training programs are embarking on a new and exciting phase of life. They will be given access to resources, mentorship, additional learning opportunities, employers who are ready to hire, and a whole range of union benefits for help in finding work that fits their skills.

Middlesex County Success Stories

Man standing next to crane.

Jordan “Big Country” Bisconti,
Apprentice Member of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825

How has Local 825 changed your life?

Every two years there’s a limited application window to get into the apprenticeship program. It has become so popular that people literally camp out overnight to receive an application in the morning. Out of about 200 applicants, 15-20 get into the apprenticeship class. I’m so happy to be part of this program. I have known I wanted to do this since I was ten years old because my dad is a Local 825 operator. He is very proud of me and has been guiding me the entire way. I have seen what this program can do for you. As long as you put in the work it can take you very far.

Would you recommend this program to friends?

Yes! The apprentice program is 4 years and 4,000 hours and it’s totally worth it. I’m a fourth year now. I have so many great opportunities because of this program. I’d tell friends to go after anything and everything that the Locals offer, it will benefit you in the long run. The more you learn and the more equipment you train on, the more work opportunities you get. I’m building my future here and we are building a future for the County and greater New Jersey area. 

What are you learning during this apprenticeship?

I love the variety. When I started, I trained on a forklift because I had prior forklift experience in my previous job. Then, the following week I trained on a loader and went right to work. I learned the forklift, back hoe, excavator and front-end loader. Later, I learned how to operate a bulldozer. Crane is a specialty job. I’m learning that now. I work with it all.

More Education Opportunities in the County