As many children are celebrating the end of school for the summer, Machinists members are embarking on a new chapter in their lives. For one group, it is the beginning of hard work to achieve a long-awaited dream of a college education. For another, it is the culmination of a journey that ended with a Bachelor’s Degree through the IAM/National Labor College (NLC) Partnership.
Thirteen union members attended the Port-of -Entry week at the William W. Winpisinger Center. The Port of Entry Week, where members begin the process of earning their degree, consists of two classes: Living Labor History and Reading and Writing Critically. For the first time in the nine-year IAM/NLC partnership, the week included students from other Unions. During the week, the Living Labor History Class traveled to the Hornbake Library/Archives in Maryland and to Washington, DC to visit the AFL-CIO headquarters and American History Museum. Students then departed the Winpisinger Center to continue the 15-week semester online.
Just one week later, five IAM Members, Johnnie Brewer III of Local 47, Andrew James Hounshell of Local 1943, Melvin Franklin Montford of Local 369, Jerry Nicas of Local 27, and Anthony J. Walter of Local 743, breathed a heavy sigh of relief as their hard work and perseverance was celebrated at NLC Commencement Ceremonies in Linthicum, MD. All of the graduates credited their families, acknowledging they could not have earned the degree without their love and support.
“It is a great privilege to see IAM members further their education and share their success with their families and fellow union members,” said Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner. “We’re glad that the Winpisinger Center could be an integral part to helping our members receive a post-secondary education.”
The IAM/National Labor College Degree Program combines online learning with a residency component at the Winpisinger Center, making it feasible for the non-traditional learner to achieve a Bachelor’s degree while continuing to work. If you are interested in learning about the program or pursuing a degree in the field of labor, please contact Rhonda Rogers at