Apprenticeship Stories

April Lee - From the office to the outdoors – Local 49 member April Lee left her office job at United Health Group last year to pursue a career as an operating engineer. Lee worked for United Health Group for 10 years before leaving and credits her husband, who is a member of IUOE Local 232, for encouraging . . . Continue Reading -->
Kyle Bleeker - Kyle Bleeker has been around heavy equipment all his life, while he began his career in the industry as a Laborer, now he’s starting his journey as an operating engineer working at Lunda Construction and completing Phase I of the crane apprenticeship program at the Local 49 Training Center. “I started as a Laborer with . . . Continue Reading -->
Dane Tolzmann - Being part of the Crane Apprentice program at the Local 49 Training Center has been one of the greatest experiences in Dane Tolzmann’s career as an Operating Engineer. After graduating high school, Tolzmann attended college for a little over a year, but discovered that college was not for him. “I never thought about the trades . . . Continue Reading -->
Mitch Mclntyre - Mitch Mclntyre - a 23-year-old Local 49 member from Cresco, Iowa - has been soaking up as much knowledge as he can at the Operating Engineers Local 49 Training Center during the off-season. So much so that he enrolled in the Training Center’s Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) class on a Monday and passed the CDL . . . Continue Reading -->
Jesse Lindgren - Jesse Lindgren has more than 20 years experience in the underground construction industry before being brought on part-time as the Sewer and Water Instructor at the Local 49 Training Center. After graduating high school, Lindgren went into the construction industry and says he’s always worked in some type of underground construction. “My buddy’s dad owned . . . Continue Reading -->
Fritz Panek - Fritz Panek has more than 40 years experience in the construction industry before being brought on part-time as the large heavy equipment instructor at the Operating Engineers Local 49 Training Center. “I can run any piece of equipment when it comes to dirt work,” said Panek. Panek grew up on a dairy farm, and graduated . . . Continue Reading -->
Hailey Lislegard - Born and raised on the Iron Range, Hailey Lislegard has always had a love for operating heavy equipment. “I am from a long line of miners from the Iron Range that goes back generations,” Lislegard said. Lislegard, a two-year Local 49 member, said her passion for operating equipment began when she was growing up riding . . . Continue Reading -->
Nick Tangen - Nick Tangen credits his father, a Local 49 operator for 30 years, for getting him interested in the industry. “My dad often told me it’s not always easy work, but it’s the best union to be a part of, raise a family on and know you’re secure,” said Tangen who has been in the Local . . . Continue Reading -->
Steve Tuhy - Steve Tuhy has transitioned from being an apprentice at the Operating Engineers Local 49 Training Center, to landing a job as an instructor/mechanic at the Training Center to now being their Apprenticeship Coordinator. However Tuhy grew up on a farm and has been around equipment his entire life, so it was only natural that he . . . Continue Reading -->
Russell Rask - Local 49 member, Russell Rask of Gilbert, MN, has been a part of the Operating Engineers Local 49 Apprenticeship Program for a year, and will shortly begin Phase II of the program. While an unfortunate event brought Rask to the Training Center, he now says this has been a positive experience. “I got laid off . . . Continue Reading -->