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

We are excited to welcome participants to the Winpisinger Center for in-person programs. Your safety, the safety of our membership, and the safety of Winpisinger Center staff are our primary concerns. As you prepare to depart for the Winpisinger Center, we would like to remind you of the three key elements of our COVID-19 safety procedures:

1. Vaccines: Everyone who attends or facilitates a program at the Winpisinger Center must be fully vaccinated and have provided proof of same.

2. Masks: Because COVID-19 case numbers are still high is certain areas, all participants, guests, and employees at the Winpisinger Center are required to wear masks.

3. Social Distancing: Classrooms, common areas, and the Dining Hall will be set up so social distancing can be maintained. Please follow posted guidelines. Weather permitting, outdoor dining is also an option.

Additionally:

1. Each guest room is cleaned and sanitized daily. Guest rooms are unoccupied for a minimum of 24 hours between guests.

2. Member participants are limited to one (1) guest at this time. Guest limitations will continue as necessary. Guests must be fully vaccinated and observe all other safety requirements while at the Winpisinger Center.

3. While everyone at the Winpisinger Center is fully vaccinated and therefore unlikely to become dangerously ill, becoming symptomatic or testing positive for COVID-19 while travelling is still of concern. CDC guidance requires a minimum of 5 days of isolation after becoming symptomatic and/or testing positive and a further 5 days of masking after that. We will accommodate any person who must isolate at Winpisinger Center and reschedule travel arrangements as necessary.

4. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (signs and symptoms can include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nasal congestion, vomiting or diarrhea, and/or skin rashes) or you have had close contact or exposure to someone with COVID-19, DO NOT travel to the Winpisinger Center. At your earliest convenience, please notify the Winpisinger Center that you will not be able to attend.

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

6. The Winpisinger Center will carefully and fully follow CDC recommendations and fully comply with State of Maryland laws and the St. Mary’s County Department of Health guidelines.

Your assistance and cooperation are critical to ensuring that we can operate safely. Thank you for your close attention to these important safety procedures.

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.

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.

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, Twitter, and Instagram. You can view these sites without having an account, and you can easily download the photos from Facebook or Twitter 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.

https://www.facebook.com/IAMW3Center/

https://twitter.com/IAMW3Center

https://www.instagram.com/iamw3center/

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 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 descriptions. 

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.

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

Maybe. 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 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.

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.

Negotiation Prep
Negotiation Prep is an intense one-week program designed to prepare the negotiating committee for collective bargaining with its employer. Topics covered include roles and responsibilities of the committee; identifying critical tasks in preparing for negotiations; using bargaining surveys; locating and interpreting information concerning the employer’s financial situation; bargaining power vis-à-vis the company; identifying potential leverage points (company vulnerabilities); costing the contract using data from the employer; drafting or amending contract language, and reviewing the standards of interpretation used by arbitrators in language cases.

Field Programs
If members of your Local or District Lodge are in need of training but cannot travel to the Winpisinger Center, we can bring the program to you. We offer steward training, negotiation prep, local lodge administration, and officer training (including roles and responsibilities of officers and constitutional requirements and guidelines). We can also customize a program to the needs of your Lodge.

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We are happy to announce that we are now taking registrations for the Members Only section of w3iam.org.