The IAM’s world-class education facility, the Winpisinger Center, hosted its first Spanish program of 2019 with Spanish Leadership I from March 10–15. Participants from all over the United States and Puerto Rico Territory gathered for a week of intense training to study in a wide range of subjects.
“I did not know what to expect when I came here but now I have a clear mission on what it is to be a unionist. I learned so much and met so many new amazing Sisters and Brothers,” stated Manuela Banrey from Local Lodge 2725 in Carolina, Puerto Rico.
Spanish-language programs are coordinated, developed and delivered by a mix of Winpisinger Center staff and the Spanish Language Working Group (SLWG), which is made up of members, officers, activists, staff and retirees from across the IAM who volunteer their time. Since the first Spanish language program at the W3 Center in 2006, nearly 800 members, activists, and officers have completed Spanish-language programs.
“We worked really hard and learned so much from the importance of Organizing, Labor History, Human Rights, the Role of the Steward, Government and Politics, and of course my favorite Parliamentary Procedure,” Alex Cartagena, Local Lodge 1932 Steward from Los Angeles said of the program. “This education will not only benefit me but also my bargaining unit and my community.”
Spanish-language programs at the W3 Center include Leadership I, Leadership II, Advanced Leadership and Train-the-Trainer. Two staff programs, Organizing I and Collective Bargaining, are also available in Spanish.
“Making education more broadly available to our membership is not only entirely consistent with our values as a labor organization, but it also helps us grow and survive in an economy that is characterized by rapid and substantial demographic changes,” said Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner. “As recent Census data shows, the percentage of Spanish speaking workers is large and growing in both size and influence. We must continue to work to actively identify, recruit and enroll Spanish-speaking participants who may be unaware of their union’s educational opportunities.”
The last two years has been a challenge for the labor movement and workers in general yet the next two years promises to be even tougher. Now is the time to stand strong and send the message of diversity and inclusion to our nation’s leaders, communities, and within our own union. And the key to that message is education.
“As Latinos rise up the ranks to fill more prominent roles in our communities and our union, the Spanish program at W3 provides the education necessary for them to have greater success,” said IAM Education Representative and SLWG member Jorge Bonilla. “As I am also a product of this success, I take great pride in being part of this program.”
Next up is Spanish Leadership II, which will take place May 12-17, 2019. If you have completed Leadership I you are eligible to participate. Please contact your Local Lodge Officers, Business Representative or General Chairperson for information on how to enroll.
There are several other Spanish programs that target the various levels of union leadership education as well as Staff classes including Collective Bargaining and Organizing I, both offered in Spanish.
The Spanish classes for 2019 are as follows:
March 31–Apr 5 ORGANIZING I PROGRAM in SPANISH
May 12–17 SPANISH LEADERSHIP II
June 09–14 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING in SPANISH
August 11–16 SPANISH TRAIN-THE-TRAINER
September 15–20 SPANISH ADVANCED LEADERSHIP
October 20–25 SPANISH LEADERSHIP I
Please note that enrollments in any of the Spanish Leadership programs do not count against your Lodge’s regular Leadership school allotments.
If you have any questions about the Spanish Leadership programs or need any additional information, please contact Edmundo Osorio at (301) 373-8814 or
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