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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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I've never been to the Winpisinger Center before. What's it like?

The William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center is a facility built by workers for workers. Its mission is to meet the complete range of educational needs of our members and to provide an atmosphere where they can learn undisturbed by the daily demands of the workplace. We emphasize mutual respect, shared learning, hands-on experience, and discussion inside and outside the classroom.

At the Winpisinger Center, participants learn together in classrooms with professional instructors and up-to-date curriculum. Our programs cover a diverse range of topics to ensure that members, officers, and staff return to their respective workplaces and put to use new skills and knowledge acquired from their training. Upon their departure, participants are better equipped to serve and lead those who elected or appointed them.

When not in class, members are encouraged to reflect on their experiences and share ideas with other participants. The camaraderie established with fellow members from the United States and Canada is also a valuable resource and provides ongoing support beyond the classroom.

The Winpisinger Center is located in Hollywood, Maryland, on historic property once known as Placid Harbor. Surrounded by nature in a quiet, residential area, the Center provides the ideal backdrop to learn and experience fellowship with other Machinists.

More resources about the Winpisinger Center:

IAM Journal article on our 40th Anniversary

Watch this promotional video of the Winpisinger Center (formerly called Placid Harbor) from the 1980s

Review our Travel Checklist and our Facility Overview.

What is the Winpisinger Center's Code of Conduct?

Per Official Circular No. 888, issued January 1, 2023, which clarifies “the IAM’s continuing commitment to civil and human rights for all IAM members throughout the United States and Canada,” the Winpisinger Center has adopted the following Code of Conduct for all staff, participants, and guests:

The IAM is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination and harassment in all its forms. As such, the IAM will not tolerate unacceptable behavior at any of our meetings or events. As trade unionists, mutual respect must be the bases of all our interactions.

Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to, discriminatory or harassing speech or actions; harmful or demeaning verbal or written comments; real or implied threat of physical harm; harassing photography or recording; uninvited sexual attention or contact; physical assault including uninvited touching or groping.

The IAM is a democratic union that values open and vigorous discussion of the issues facing working people and the labor movement. This code of conduct is not intended to restrict free and open debate, but rather is concerned with protecting dignity and fairness for all members.

Our designated contacts for anyone who thinks they have experienced or witnessed discriminatory, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior are Director Mary McHugh and Assistant Director Joe Gruber at 301.373.3300.

 

I'm coming to the Winpisinger Center for the first time. What should I bring/expect while traveling/expect when I arrive?

Before you depart, you can view and print this Handy Checklist with travel information and other tips.

You can also read this overview of Winpisinger Center accommodations to learn more about the facility, guest rooms, meals, and guidelines that participants are expected to follow while here.

If you have a question not answered here, please contact us directly.

Do I have to pay to attend a program at the Winpisinger Center? Are there any costs involved?

Travel, tuition, boarding, and meals are all provided for participants of in-person programs. See the Winpisinger Tuition & Transportation Subsidy Policy for more information. Ask your District or Local Lodge about payment for lost time.

Most participants find that about $150 in spending money is enough for items from the IAM gift shop, gratuities for housekeeping and kitchen staff, and donations to Guide Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines and the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League. There is an ATM and change machine located in the W3 Center lobby by the elevator.

The Winpisinger Center used to put weekly class photos on their website, but I can't find them anymore.

We now share our weekly photos through social media: Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter). You can view these sites without having an account, and you can easily download the photos from Facebook or X if you want to keep a digital copy for yourself. We continue to provide participants of in-person programs with a printed copy of the class photo.

Can I get reimbursed for my baggage when I travel to and from the Winpisinger Center?

We will reimburse fees for a participant’s first checked bag, but we do not reimburse fees for second or third checked bags; bags checked by a guest (or guests) of the participant; or overweight baggage.

Download, print, complete, and sign the Baggage Reimbursement Form, available in English, French, and Spanish. Attach original receipts to the form and mail to:

William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center
Attn: Baggage Reimbursement
24494 Placid Harbor Way
Hollywood, MD 20636

The envelope must be post marked within 30 days of the program ending date.

I drove my own vehicle to the Winpisinger. How does driver reimbursement work?

According to the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center Tuition and Transportation Subsidy Policy, should a participant elect to drive their own vehicle to the Winpisinger Center, they will be reimbursed at the IRS Standard Rate per mile up to a maximum of 1,600 miles round trip or the equivalent of a round trip super saver air fare, whichever is less. Distance will be determined by the member’s home address to Hollywood, Maryland.

Download, print, complete, and sign the Driver Reimbursement Form, available in English, French, and Spanish. The form should be turned in to your instructor at the beginning of your first class.

Where can I find registration forms?

The Winpisinger Center no longer distributes program call letters or registration forms in paper, nor do we accept registration forms in paper, via fax, or as email attachments. Links to online forms are sent with program call letters which are distributed via email.

Links to Leadership forms can be found on our website. However, you cannot submit your own registration for Leadership programs, it must be submitted by a lodge president, business representative, or general chair. Officers, please ensure that the IAM Membership Roster has up to date Local Lodge Officers sheets including current email addresses as this is where we pull contact information from when we send calls for Leadership Programs.

Staff program attendance is by GVP assignment only. Reach out to your Territory office for more information.

Questions about Departmental programs should be directed to the sponsoring department. All departments can be reached by calling IAM Headquarters at 301-967-4500. Click here for Departmental program call letters.

Can I order Educational Materials from the Winpisinger Center?

Yes! Local and District Lodges can order selected classroom materials at no cost. We offer the Steward Training Kit/Education in Steward Meetings binder for instructors (one kit per lodge), the Steward Manual (available in English and Spanish), the Officers’ Kit (available in English (Canadian & U.S. versions), French, and Spanish), and A Handy Guide to a Well-Conducted Union Meeting (flip book). Below is the order form which can be returned via mail, email, and  fax. 

Educational Material Order Form

What precautions are the Center taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while participants are in attendance?

In August 2021, multiple protocols were put in place at the Winpisinger Center so that we could reopen in a manner that assured the safety of both participants and employees. With the continued advancement of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics reducing the risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and death, we are removing the vaccination requirement. Provided that current conditions do not substantially change, our updated protocols are as follows:

1. Participants attending in-person programs at the Winpisinger Center are no longer required to provide proof of vaccination as of December 1, 2022.

2. Because COVID-19 case numbers are still high is certain areas and vaccines are no longer required, masking may be required in all public places for all participants, guests, and employees at the Winpisinger Center. The masking requirement is reviewed weekly and you will receive an email in advance of the program if masks will be required.

3. As of March 1, 2023, we have lifted the remaining guest limitations and participants are now allowed to bring more than one guest to the Center. If programs are full and dorms are at or near capacity, we may not be able to provide more than one room to participants with multiple guests. 

4. Because becoming symptomatic or testing positive for COVID-19 while traveling is still of concern, the Winpisinger Center will follow CDC guidelines regarding isolation:

a. We will observe a minimum of five (5) days of isolation after becoming symptomatic and/or testing positive and a further five (5) days of masking after that.
b. We will accommodate any person who must isolate at Winpisinger Center and reschedule travel arrangements as necessary.

Additionally:

• If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or you have had close contact with or exposure to someone with COVID-19, DO NOT travel to the Winpisinger Center. Please notify the Winpisinger Center as soon as possible so that we can cancel any travel arrangements and reschedule you for a future program.

• If you begin to experience COVID-19 symptoms while at the Winpisinger Center, stay in your room and notify Director Mary McHugh (301.373.3300) immediately.

• The Winpisinger Center will continue to follow CDC recommendations and comply with state and local laws and guidelines.

The health and safety of members and employees remain a priority for the Winpisinger Center. Our COVID-19 protocols are subject to regular review and will be modified as conditions warrant. Your assistance and cooperation are critical to ensuring that we can operate safely. Thank you for your close attention to these important safety procedures.

 

What if I have too many class materials or gift shop items to carry back on the plane? Can I ship things from the Winpisinger Center?

On Friday morning you can leave sealed and labeled packages in the Media Annex (located just to the left of the Dining Room entrance) and stop by later to pay for shipping. Our helpful Media Annex staff will make sure your package goes out in Friday’s mail. You can find boxes, shipping labels, and packing tape in the Library near the photocopier.

Can I buy items from the gift shop and have them shipped to my home or office?

Participants can purchase items in person and pack them up to be shipped to your residence or office from the Winpisinger Center. If you are unable to visit the Winpisinger Center, you can order from Machinists Gear online which carries the same inventory as the gift shop.

Can I donate to the Tom Talbot Library or Winpisinger Center?

We accept donations within the following guidelines:

Books/Periodicals/Film:

We accept donations of books, serials, and periodicals, new or used in good condition, that document: labor and industrial history, civil rights, human rights, working class issues/struggles, labor economics, work, and workers; union administration; labor issues in the law, politics, and government; histories of companies or industries the IAM membership works/has worked for; and periodicals (and other publications) from Territories, District Lodges, and Local Lodges.

We do not accept textbooks, workbooks, self-improvement books, books with outdated content, or books that have been extensively marked up with notes or highlighting. If we already have two copies of a published book, we will not accept additional copies.

We accept movies and documentaries that depict work, worker issues, and civil and human rights struggles on original DVD or Blu-Ray. We will not accept copied versions of films or those on obsolete formats such as VHS, Beta, etc.

If anything donated to us is in good condition but cannot be used in the Tom Talbot Library, we will donate it to the St. Mary’s County Public Library System for their annual book sale per their donation guidelines.

Charters and other artifacts:

We do accept charters from Local Lodges that have merged or closed, and for those with no permanent office in which to hang a charter. It is best if charters are delivered in person instead of being shipped because of the irreparable damage that can be done to the frame, glass, and/or the charter itself.

We also accept examples of items made or work done by Machinists with a few exceptions. Please contact us in advance about your donation, especially if it is large or heavy, or if you will be mailing it instead of delivering it in person.

Meeting minutes/contract books/photographs/other papers and records:

The documentation created out of the day-to-day work of union offices, or collected by union members, is often a good candidate for the Southern Labor Archives at Georgia State University Library, which houses the historical archives of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. You can contact the archives directly at [email protected] or 404.413.2880.

Please contact us with any questions or to discuss items you would like to donate.

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