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AFL-CIO for McLean County Trades & Labor Festival

May 21 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

AFL-CIO for McLean County Trades & Labor Festival

To highlight industry and labor in McLean County—both past and present—the McLean County Museum of History, in partnership with the Bloomington & Normal Trades & Labor Assembly (AFL-CIO), and Livingston & McLean Counties Building & Construction Trades Council (AFL-CIO), is inviting local businesses, unions, trades people, skilled workers, and artisans to showcase their skills and the services they provide to our community as part of an interactive Trades & Labor Fest 2022 on May 21 from 2-5 pm. (weather permitting). This family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

Trades & Labor Fest 2022 will take place on the Museum Square in Downtown Bloomington (200 block of North Center Street, the 100 block of West Jefferson Street, and 200 block of North Main Street). Participating businesses/trades will offer thematic activities for attendees to observe and try for themselves. Visit the Museum’s booth to pick up a map complete with information about participating businesses/trades. Additionally, visitors are encouraged to go inside the Museum to explore the Museum’s permanent exhibit Challenges, Choices, and Change: Working for a Living, to learn more about McLean County’s local labor history.

Festival activities will include the following:

Bloomington Public Library history of the Bookmobile in pictures, Library Expansion plans, kids Bookmobile crafts (Bookmobile origami & coloring page), prizes, and other giveaways too

Bloomington Police Department squad car and information.

City of Bloomington ECD information about the Farmers’ Market and children’s activities.

Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 99 will have information about area standard wages and benefits of being part of the Local 99.

Dreams are Possible will have information about classes and have tools (both modern and historic) for people to try out!

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (Local Lodge 1000) IAM District 8 will have information and a City of Bloomington Water Department backhoe and cutout fire hydrant.

The Massage Spot will have various independent massage therapists demonstrating stretches.

First Student will be bringing one of their school buses, have information about employment opportunities, learn what it is like to be a bus driver, and giveaways and treats.

Carpenters Local 237 will be building kids’ wooden toolboxes.

Meltdown Creative Works will be doing live screen printing and the opportunity for people to try and print a design themselves!

Bloomington-Normal JATC will have information about Electrical Apprenticeships and work in the electrical industry with a small pipe bending activity.

Illinois Laborers’ & Contractors JATP will have GPS & surveying, Virtual Reality goggles, and laborers work simulation.

Black Nurses Association of Central Illinois will have blood pressure checks, anatomy torsos with questions for younger participants, and educational health information for all.

Prairie Aviation Museum will have a Hughes Helicopter on display along with educational information regarding general aviation organizations at CIRA.

Evergreen FS will have a DEF Truck, pool of corn for kids, prizes, and information about careers & benefits in agriculture.

Altorfer Ag Products will have a tractor display and information about agricultural equipment.

University of Illinois Extension- McLean County will provide a hands-on activity using paper circuits.

Together Press of cometogetherspace featuring Lisa Lofgren print maker will feature a block printing family activity and the history of Pantagraph Printing Co. (a collaborative activity with MCMH).

Legacy Solar will bring a solar panel display and have educational materials about solar energy and what can be accomplished by putting solar panels on residential buildings.

McLean County Ag in the Classroom will have Illinois History Ag Mags and activities highlighting a variety of agricultural products grown in Illinois and careers in agriculture.

If you are a local business, artisan, or organization who is interested in participating, please visit https://bit.ly/TradeandLaborFest22 to register. The registration deadline is Monday, April 18 at 5:00 p.m. Free parking will be available at the Lincoln Parking Deck located on Front Street. For more information about this free public program, please contact the Museum’s Education Department at education@mchistory.org or 309-827-0428.


Amtrak is joining the Trades & Labor Fest in downtown Bloomington this Saturday, May 21, 2 – 5 p.m., on the Museum Square in downtown Bloomington. Last week Amtrak announced its new apprenticeship program. Its press release said: “Creating an official path to learn on the job and grow their skills, Amtrak announced its Apprenticeship Pilot Program, providing opportunities for professional development. Representing a mix of new hires and existing employees with diverse backgrounds, students will begin in the classroom and move to hands-on work in a specific trade. With funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Amtrak can effectively invest in people, helping them forge professional careers.” The program is a cooperative effort between the rail passenger carrier and the Transport Workers Rail Union Division.

Trades and Labor Fest brings together local unions, apprenticeship programs, local businesses and non-profit organizations to display skills with hands-on interaction “This is a chance to display our varied & diverse union craft and the skills in our community,” said Trades & Labor President Adam Heenan. “Our young people especially need exposure to well- paying jobs and union apprenticeship opportunities that can help build a sustainable quality of life with decent pay and benefits for which ancestors in our movement have fought for over 150 years. In this way we celebrate the past, present, and future of work in McLean County.”

“The Museum is thrilled to once again partner with local trades and unions, businesses, and organizations to educate the public about the various types of industries in McLean County,” said Candace Summers, Director of Community Education at the McLean County Museum of History. “We are especially pleased to include a national employer like Amtrak. This event also gives us the opportunity to help our community learn about individual workers, jobs and occupations, and businesses that helped build and shape McLean County throughout our almost 200 year history!” All events are free and open to the public. The Museum’s “Working for Living” exhibit will be open along with other exhibits.

For more information, contact Jeff Nagy, Lead Administrator, Amtrak Apprenticeship Program, nagyj@amtrak.com | cell: 202.697.1038 Adam Heenan at 815-757-5432 or Candace Summers at the Museum of History, 309-827-0428. For a complete list of participating local businesses,
organizations, trades and labor unions, please visit www.mchistory.org.


May 21
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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McLean County Museum of History/Cruisin’ with Lincoln 66 Visitors Center
200 N. Main Street
Bloomington, IL 61701 United States
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