During the spring the Minnesota Twins head to Florida for spring training. The Piledrivers of Local 1847, on the other hand, head north to Hinckley, Minn., to practice their trade at the Local 49 Training Center. “We are cross training with the 49ers,” explained Danre Vitullo, instructor for Local 1847. “Without the operating engineers, we can’t do our work. And without us they can’t do the piledriving which reinforces the foundation a large structure sits on.” Those large structures are the things we depend on – bridges, buildings, power plants, etc.

The collaboration between the operating engineers and the piledrivers existed for five years prior to Covid 19 curtailing the program for two years. With 24 piledrivers on board, this year’s group surpassed Vitullo’s expectations with their participation: “I told them to ask all the questions you have. If you have a question, somebody else probably does too. This is the time and place to do it.”