Stay Connected: Special Feature Article (Dec 2)

Technology is a vital part of training, and the future of the Operating Engineers, and Local 793 is on the forefront with the use of simulators. OCS had the pleasure of recently touring IUOE Local 793 Training Centre in Oakville and meeting with Director of Training and Apprenticeship, Jeff Hewitt, and Executive Director, Rick Kerr. Staff were given the opportunity to give the simulators a go and it was undisputed that they are much more difficult to operate than the apprentices make it look!

The Operating Engineers Training Institute of Ontario (OETIO) has been in operation since 1982 and has two first-class training campuses, one in Oakville, the other in Morrisburg. Simulators are used to extend the classroom in all sorts of weather conditions, giving apprentices valuable hours of experience with no risk. Instructors have a minimum of 10 years experience in the field and there is one instructor for every six students in the heavy equipment courses at Morrisburg, and one instructor for every four students in the crane training courses at Oakville.

IUOE Local 793 represents more than 18,000 crane and heavy equipment operators and other skilled workers employed in all sectors of the construction industry, industrial and mining sectors across the province of Ontario and the territory of Nunavut.

Union members operate mobile cranes, tower cranes, concrete pumps, bulldozers, excavators, graders, tractor loader backhoes and many other types of heavy equipment. Approximately 95% of crane operators in Ontario are unionized and the training centre has an exceptionally low failure rate. Operating Engineers are often the first ones on site in the morning and the last ones to leave at the end of day. The average wage for an operator is $51 an hour, plus a full pension and benefits.

Members of IUOE Local 793 have helped build Toronto’s key infrastructure and many of its landmarks, such as the CN Tower, the SkyDome (now Rogers Centre), and New City Hall, as well as residential and commercial buildings, subway lines, and hospitals.

Thank you to IUOE Local 793 Training Centre for welcoming us and giving OCS staff a tour of your incredible facility. You can find more information about IUOE Local 793 by visiting