SJ Trades Staff
OCEAN CITY – The South Jersey Mechanical Contractors Association and apprentices from Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 322 have stepped up to help American Legion Morvay-Miley Post 524 finish construction on its new home.
Work on the new, larger building being built on city-owned land at 46th and West Avenue has been financed through fund-raising activities by Morvay-Miley Post 524 and with the help of volunteers since ground was broken in 2014.
Enter, now, the SJMCA and Local 322. The former has donated the materials for the inside plumbing work the apprentices, who are all volunteers, are performing.
“We are there,” said Fred Green, business agent for Local 322. “The mechanical contractors are helping with the materials and the apprentices are going to be doing a majority of the plumbing work. The mechanical contractors donated the materials for the project as a way to help the Legion gets its building finished.”
Local 322 has over 1,700 members and it counts many veterans among its membership so stepping up to lend a helping hand is a natural fit.
Having the apprentices volunteer their time to do the work is a win-win situation. They get valuable on-the-job experience and the Post 524 moves closer to getting its building completed.
Jeff Berger, training coordinator for Local 322, is supervising the apprentices on site. Wednesday, June 29, was their first day and Berger said he had eight or nine men working. They returned the following week and the number of apprentices working on any given day varies. There was no timeline for how long they would be there.
“It is good, on-the-job experience for them,” Berger explained. “They would be out in the field anyway. Our program is nine days in the field and one day in the classroom. They started out with the sanitation plumbing and they will be doing whatever needs to be done. They get good field experience and it’s for a good cause.”
Bob Marzulli, who chairs the building committee for Morvay-Miley Post 524, said they were having trouble finding someone to complete the work, but Local 322 answered the call.
“We tried to get someone but they told us they’d get back to us in October,” Marzulli explained. “I talked to (Local 322 Business Manager) Kurt Krueger and he said it wouldn’t be a problem at all.”
The combination of the generosity of the South Jersey Mechanical Contractors Association and Plumbers Local 322 has saved Morvay-Miley Post 524 approximately $75,000 and moved up the time frame for completing the building by three-to-six months according to Marzulli.
“They are doing all the inside work,” Marzulli said. “They’re doing all the drain lines, water and gas lines for all our service appliances.
“The guys have all been great. They’re courteous, friendly; they can’t do enough for us. They’re always asking, ‘anything else we can do for you.’ It’s unbelievable the amount they’ve done.”
Local 322 and Morvay-Miley Post 524 – a perfect match. A group of apprentices who needed on-the-job training and a project that needed help getting to the finish line. Call it a positive experience for both sides.