The new Henry County Humane Society - Geneseo animal shelter became a classroom for apprentices with the Heat and Frost Insulators Local 81 union.

The new Henry County Humane Society - Geneseo animal shelter became a classroom for apprentices with the Heat and Frost Insulators Local 81 union.

Three third-year apprentices and apprenticeship coordinator Paul Miller were on-site Monday, April 24 to do the mechanical insulation at the shelter.

In exchange for allowing the union to use the site for hands-on experience, labor for the insulation work was provided for free while the humane society purchased the necessary materials.

“This allows us to have real-world experience,” said Miller.

Apprentices Rob Mau, Don Hartsfield and Ben Womack are all in their third year of a four-year program.

As such, Miller said the men “had quite a bit of experience” but work on the site would allow them to receive pointers while in a job-site environment.

“This is the first time we’ve done on-site training quite like this,” said Miller.

Though chartered out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Local 81 is located in Rock Island. One of the union’s members from Atkinson suggested the humane society site as a training location.

“It helps us out with our training,” said Miller, who added Iowa-Illinois Taylor Insulation provided some of the equipment used on-site by the apprentices.