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Skilled to Work: Millwright Local 2158 hosts open orientation

Hopeful recruits turn out to learn fill out applications and learn how to become a Millwright

BETTENDORF, Iowa — There's a buzz at Millwright Local 2158 on the first Tuesday of every month over the summer. Hopeful recruits gather at open orientation to learn about the apprenticeship program and fill out some of the paper work to get started. 

They come from many different backgrounds and experience levels, like Bettendorf resident Josh Filson, who has spent the last 18 years working in the culinary field. 

"Sometimes a shop hires you, sometimes you travel. So it could lead you kind of anywhere," Filson said. 

"I really like doing work with my hands," said Alex Jurcyk, a 19-year-old from St. Charles, Illinois. "I like traveling around and going to new places and learning how to do new things. So it really kind of checks all my boxes," he said.

Some journeymen turned up too, supporting friends and relatives they hope will join the trade. 

"I actually brought a young man that's a friend of mine," said journeyman millwright Dax Reed, of Clinton, Iowa. "He's been pumping me for information for the last few months about what I do."

"This is more of a career than just a job," said journeyman millwright Chris Hansen, who also brought a friend. "Getting in at an early age can really help and more benefit you down the road," he said.

Newly elected Local 2158 President Wade Butt brought his nephew in. 

"I tell him it was the best decision I ever made to join the Millwrights," Butt said. "We've been talking a lot about the Millwrights and we're getting him involved," he said.