Building Trades, Features, Municipal Government, New York

Meet LP Outstanding Apprentice of the Year Matthew Barr

March 22, 2018

By Silver Krieger

Local 94, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), is proud to name Matthew Barr as their LaborPress Outstanding Apprentice Nominee.

IUOE’s Matthew Barr.

Barr, 22 years old, graduated from Matawan Regional High School in 2013, and took a job as a summer helper in the Engineering Department at 22 Cortland Street in lower Manhattan.  His career began in January, 2015 when he began working as a helper at Brookfield Properties, at the same time beginning the Local 94 Training Program.  He took classes ranging from HVAC to plumbing, refrigeration, electrical and controls, and completed the Program in June 2017.   He then passed the FDNY Refrigeration Engineer License tests.   Shortly after getting his license, he changed buildings, advancing to an Engineer’s position within Brookfield Properties.

Bill LaRosa, Matthew Barr’s chief engineer at Brookfield Place, says, “I met Matthew in one of Brookfield’s electrical safety training courses, and he approached me with interest in an Engineer’s position within my building at 250 Vesey. In a subsequent interview, I was extremely impressed with his knowledge and enthusiasm. We hired Matt as an Engineer and I quickly realized during the building training orientation that he was a fast learner and he already had a thorough knowledge of our trade.  He always keeps me informed of all important issues that arise on his watch in the building and provides feedback/problem solving ideas; he’s serious about what he does and has shown me he can perform various tasks including but not limited to chiller plant operations, installations, troubleshooting, and all aspects of preventive maintenance. Additionally, he has leadership qualities and is well liked and respected by his peers.

Barr is currently continuing his education with Local 94, working towards the BOMI Systems Maintenance Technician and Systems Maintenance Administrator (SMT/SMA).  His goal is to become a Chief Engineer.

Says Barr,“I enjoy the work that I do. Every day I am working on something different and unique. Whenever there is a problem, or a piece of equipment is not working right, I like the challenge of figuring out what is wrong and correcting the issue. I learn something new each day on the job, either from one of the guys I work with, or through trial and error. Local 94’s training program was great: the classes are challenging, and once you take what you learned in class back to your job and put it to use, it all comes together. The teachers are all very knowledgeable and either have or still do work in the industry. They take what they have learned and their experiences from the job and apply it in the classroom. Being in the class was enjoyable and always interesting.”

March 22, 2018

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