Local 94 Members Celebrate First Business Writing Course with the Murphy Institute at CUNY SLU

By Becky Firesheets

On Thursday, December 6th, thirteen members of Local 94 celebrated their successful completion of Worker Education at SLU’s Business Writing course with a graduation ceremony that felt more like a family meal than a formal event. After nearly perfect attendance throughout the term (there were only two absences, both due to medical reasons), the group of Chief Operators, Assistant Chiefs, and Operating Engineers who work at SL Green had clearly become close-knit – with one another and their instructor, Dr. Michael Shapiro.

“It was a great learning experience. Dr. Shapiro runs a class that makes you want to learn. He keeps you busy and makes you think. He is a great teacher,” one student wrote on his final evaluation form.

Throughout the celebration, everyone high-fived, slapped backs, and shared hugs as they expressed deep gratitude for Dr. Shapiro’s curriculum, created with valuable input from Patrick Calcagno, Vice President and Portfolio Manager at SL Green Realty Corp, and Local 94’s Training Director, Howard Styles. Lessons covered topics such as how to organize incident reports, properly use a semi-colon, integrate professional vocabulary into their emails, and create grammatically correct, bullet-point lists.

“I’ve definitely been using it at work,” student and Operating Engineer Michael DeLucia said about the class. “When we send emails and incident reports, we often tag business owners or portfolio managers, and it’s important to use the right grammar and sound intelligent. They don’t see the mechanical room so they’re just basing your intelligence off of an email. It was a great class really.”

Dr. Sara Esfarayeni, Academic Manager of Worker Education at SLU, advises that plans are already underway to bring a new cohort to the Murphy Institute for the Spring 2019 term. Congratulations and good luck to all of our graduates!​