The Roofers and Water Proofers Local 96 has volunteered to re-roof the historic 1887 caboose in Pine River that Heritage Group North, Inc., owns.

With 1,255 members, Local 96 is based in the Twin Cities. Apprenticeship coordinator Andrew Richmond made the arrangements for this project.

Business representative Tyler Krogen and apprenticeship instructor Bryan Stoltze placed a temporary roof on the caboose Monday, Nov. 25 to protect the caboose this winter. Next spring, a group of seven to 10 apprenticeship students will apply the permanent roofing material.

All labor and material are being provided free of charge.

"This is an ideal project to give our students a realistic training experience. We like to put the materials and labor to a good cause, instead of just doing mock-ups in our shop," Stoltze said in a news release.

Heritage Group North president Denny Houg expressed his gratitude: “This project will save our organization several thousand dollars when completed. We really appreciate Andrew, Tyler and Bryan’s commitment to our nonprofit. Tyler drove up from Blaine and Bryan came from St. Cloud to assist HGN.”

Apprenticeship students receive 144 hours of instruction each year for three years and require 6,000 hours of on-the-job experience to qualify for journeyman status. The training program has openings for men and women. Anyone interested in the program is encouraged to call Richmond at 218-821-5051 for more information.