Class of 2017 Apprentice Graduates: Front Row Left to Right: Tracy Coats, Angela Friend, Amber Williams, Kevin Bonnett; Back Row Left to Right: Andrew Seals and Tanner Stout
Tracy Coats Degree
A Laborers’ apprenticeship is not only a decent career path, it’s also a higher education path. Tracy Coats, who completed her Laborers apprenticeship in November 2017, also completed an Associates degree at Heartland Community College in December. The community college recognized her Laborers training hours as equivalent to college credit. Coats had to take extra classes in math, English and science to gain her Associate’s degree. She completed those classes at Illinois Central College. “I wanted an Associate’s Degree,” she said. “I had the hour, I had to take a few extra classes. I’m hoping this will push me toward other opportunities, along with the combined experience in my field.” Coats said she enjoys outdoor work; “Laborers work is different all the time; I’m not an inside person,” she noted. She worked on pipelines and a variety of other projects. Laborers Local 231 business manager Bob Schroeder commended Coats. “Going through a successful apprenticeship takes self-initiative and a willingness to tackle different kinds of work. Tracy Coats went above and beyond that, using her Laborer apprenticeship hours to complete this degree. That shows initiative and a worker willing to go the extra mile. This makes Laborers 231 proud. She is an asset for any contractor who engages her.”
Illinois General Assembly members will be back in session most weeks this spring until their scheduled adjournment at the end of May. Governor Rauner had his State of the State address two weeks ago, which was filled with generalizations about his legislative agenda. He apprears to be saving the specifics of his anti-union wish list for private conversations. One noteworthy promise in Rauner's State of the State was to submit a balanced budget, which would be a first for him. That statement was met with a mock standing ovation by Democrats. Rauner's Budget Address is this Wednesday.