Michigan’s Lieutenant Governor was in Howell Township yesterday to visit with the people training the workers who will help improve the state’s roads and infrastructure.

Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist took a tour of the 555-acre Operating Engineers 324 site, Tuesday afternoon. The event was part of Gilchrest and Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “Road to Opportunity tour” in support of their proposed $60-billion 2020 state budget. Gilchrist said that if their budget is fully implemented, partners like Operating Engineers will be instrumental in training and building up a skilled work force that will move the economy and infrastructure forward.

During the tour, the Lt. Governor observed several of OE 324’s programs and training opportunities like pipe distribution, excavation, and working a disaster site. Gilchrest said it was a shot to perform an exercise in one of the cranes, himself, that really showed him the importance of what Operating Engineers 324 does. He said that what was really driven home to him was that “we call those skilled trades for a reason.” The Lt. Governor said that “the hand-eye coordination, the depth perception, the understanding of the controls, and timing is something that he has a great deal of respect for…”

Gilchrist said that with Operating Engineers 324 having more apprentices today than possibly ever, it shows that people are hungry for work, and skilled-trade employers are hungry for those who can fill the needed roles. He said that he and the governor’s office are really glad to see institutions like this, and that that want to work with them and other like-partners to give more people who want access to the training, that training.

The Lt. Governor said that Operating Engineers 324 was “an amazing resource for not just Howell and the surrounding community, but the state of Michigan.” More information on Operating Engineers 324 can be found at www.OE324.org (MK)