In what is expected to be the first stage of an extensive, online training program, the LIUNA Canadian Tri-Fund launched its innovative Online Blueprint Reading Course for Laborers last spring.

“Online learning opens new vistas in training,” says LIUNA Canadian Tri-Fund Director Cosmo Mannella. “Though this course deals with blueprint reading, we think the format can accommodate many other kinds of classes, including safety and health.”

According to the Tri-Fund’s Research and Field Coordinator, John Mandarino, “Geographic location can sometimes provide barriers to the advancement and development of new skills in our workforce. In addition, trainees cannot always find time in a busy working schedule to take a course. This online program can teach thousands at once while also allowing Laborers to work on their skills when it is most convenient for them to do so.”

The Online Blueprint Reading Course was developed through a partnership of the Canadian Tri-Funds with Dufferin Construction, Soncin Construction, Blue Circle, Inc., the LIUNA Central and Eastern Canada Regional Office, LIUNA Locals 506 (Toronto), 837 (Hamilton) and 1059 (London) and Fanshawe College. Its program development grew out of the TVOntario Lifelong Learning Challenge Fund and a grant provided courtesy of the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

LIUNA, through the LIUNA Canadian Tri-Fund, has proprietary rights to the Online Blueprint Reading Course in Ontario, and, through Fanshawe College, technical support has been arranged so that the network of LIUNA training centers across North America also can take advantage of the online program. Anyone interested in more information about the course or the issues in development of online learning opportunities should contact John Mandarino at the Canadian Tri-Funds (416) 245-9520.

[Steve Clark]