December 2011

Apprenticeship Department Plans for the Future


Planning is a key factor in the success of many aspects of our lives -- and the same applies to the future of Iron Worker apprenticeship training and journeyman upgrading programs. With this in mind, in early September of this year staff members from the Apprenticeship and Training Department and IMPACT met for several days of strategic planning. 

The first topic of discussion was the annual Instructor Training Program. Meeting participants reviewed the evaluations of the program held in July of 2011 with a focus on how to improve the program in 2012. As a result of the meeting, several major changes are being implemented for the 28th Annual Ironworker Instructor Training Program.

  •  All program participants requesting a free dormitory room will be housed on the campus of the University of Michigan. We are confident that having all of our participants housed in the same dormitory with a cafeteria close by will be well received. 
  • There will be a meeting of all apprenticeship coordinators and directors held in conjunction with the program. The date of this important one-day meeting is Saturday, July 14, 2012. 
  • The closing session will be held on Thursday evening on the campus of Washtenaw Community College. This will allow those driving to the program to leave after courses conclude on Friday afternoon. 

The dates for the annual program are July 15 - 20, 2012. More information on the 28th Annual Ironworker Instructor Training Program (including a list of new courses) will be sent to all local unions. 

Another major area of discussion centered on the plans for the biennial Apprenticeship Competition. The 2012 Apprenticeship Competition will be held at Local 22 in Indianapolis during September of 2012. Specific dates and more information on the competition will be sent to all local unions. 

During the past seven years the Apprenticeship and Training Department, working through the National Training Fund and with IMPACT, has been developing new training packages and materials. This initiative will continue in 2012 as we focus on the following new and revised training packages: 

  • General Foreman and Superintendent Training for Ironworkers will be available in early 2012 as a hybrid self-study and online course for any member who is interested. Working closely with IMPACT, there will also be a group-based course for sponsored participants who complete the self-study course. 
  • The Foreman Training for Ironworkers manual and course have been very well received during the six years since first implemented. During 2012, we plan to work closely with IMPACT to revise the manual and course to better meet the needs of U.S. and Canadian foremen. 
  • IMPACT has received a number of requests for a Foreman Training for Shop Ironworkers training package. We will be working with IMPACT and the development and implementation of this training package. 
  • Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings was the first new training package we developed seven years ago. Given the changes in metal building systems and our need to capture more of this market, we will be updating this training package. 
  • We continue to receive requests for short courses on forklift operation, roadway flagger, and fire watch. During 2012, we will be developing a single DVD that will contain training materials local unions can use to deliver training in these three areas.
  • Lead Hazard Training for Ironworkers materials have been available for a number of years. During 2012, we will be reviewing current lead hazard training methods and materials and will revise our training package accordingly. 

We are confident that these and other decisions made during the planning meeting will result in products and services that our local unions and shops in the United States and Canada will be able to use to develop iro