UA Local 50 hosted more than 350 Toledao-area students on October 13 at their training campus for Piping Industry Day. The campus, which includes the union hall, the local contractors’ association, and the 45,000 sf state of the art training facility, gave tours and provided demonstration throughout the day.

Students took turns trying their hand on the virtual welder, a tool that Training Director Chris Weaver said has been instrumental in engaging this generation of apprentices.

“The hand-eye coordination required for the virtual welder is something these kids are developing early while playing video games,”Weaver said. “Apprentices who start out on the virtual welder are able to control their welds once they get into live practice.”

Local 50 had instructors and veteran journeymen and women providing other cemonstrations, including crimping and soldering, basic electrical work, and other plubming and pipefitting basics.

The day also included a vendor and contractor fair, where students could talk specifics about the kinds of work they would be doing once completing a plumbing and piefitting apprenticeship.

“There is a real advantage to having our contractors, training facility, and union hall all on one campus,” said Business Manager Scott Lopez. “It has helped us a real partership the benefits everyone, including the community.

UA Local 50 acepts apprenticeship application year-round, with interviews and selection beginning in January. For more information visit