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Rod Building Class is quite a catch


While it may have its shortcomings and pitfalls, Facebook – and social media as a whole – helps our office do its job better because it is one more way for the local programs and our office to stay connected.

Case in point: a recent class that Korey and I attended out in Albany, Oregon. It’s a fishing rod building class sponsored by the joint USW/ATI 6163/7150 Career Development Programs. We first caught wind of the class last fall thanks to a Facebook post.

As we learned more about the class, we knew we had to make a trip to go see it in person, so that’s what we did last weekend.

They will be part of the Site Showcase at the 2020 ICD National Conference in Nashville, so I don’t want to steal their thunder here, but there are a couple things about the class that stood out to Korey and me when we attended the class.

The first is that the participants actually build two custom rods. The instructor determines which of the two was built to a higher standard, and that rod is then donated to a local charity for auction. So far, through one auction cycle, the custom rods have helped the Boys & Girls Club raise hundreds of dollars. Each donated rod is outfitted with a USW button on the butt of the rod and a note that informs the auction winner know where the rod was built and what the Career Development Program is about. 

The plan is to continue to work with the Boys & Girls Club and other local charities and donate more custom rods for charity. 

What stood out the most to me when attending this EIGHT-HOUR class was the dedication, patience and precision of the participants. When I tell you it was an 8-hour class, I mean the participants spent eight hours getting every little detail of the rod to their specific liking. It was quite the endeavor and I am here to tell you I do not have that kind of sticktoitiveness the Steelworkers in attendance did that day.

That class was everything I hoped it would be and more. It was a privilege to be able to attend, and I want to give a shoutout to USW Local 6163 President Steve Eddings, LJC Member Aaron Watts, ICD Coordinator Nick Gaitaud, 6163 NextGen Co-Coordinator Sam Rodgers and District 12 Sub-District 3 Director Ron Rodgers for the generosity of their time while we were out there.


For more on the class, click on the link below to the Photo Gallery.

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