Trainees complete Local 476 technical course

A month-long technical training class ends this week for 14 Local 476 trainees, who spent the last four weeks, eight hours a day at Essanay where they learned the skills and equipment that go into making a film ? in this case, a mock TV commercial.

Gino Crededio taught electric and Dennis de la Mata was the grip instructor.

The 14 trainees had worked on Local 476 permits last year but needed improvement for skills. “They will be invited to join the union once business picks up,” said 476 president Mark Hogan.

The trainees will be certified to work scissors and fork lifts and scaffolding.

The intensive training was funded by a $48,000 DCEO “Betterment of Skills” grant, administered through Northern Illinois University, and a grant from the Illinois AFL-CIO.

Funding was augmented by several hundred thousand dollars worth of in-kind services from many participating suppliers. Essanay’s Wayne Kubacki estimated his company contributed $100,000 for in-kind services of stages, light, grip, cranes equipment use.

The class has been so successful that the union wants to conduct a new session as soon as funding can be arranged. Local 600 is said to be talking about instituting a similar program.