July 2012

First Time Offering of Rebar Welding Certification at the Annual Instructors Training Program

As the 28th annual ironworker instructors training program nears, I'm looking forward to greeting the participants who signed up for a course being offered for the very first time—Rebar Welding Certification. As the training coordinator for Local 29 (Portland, Ore.) for 13 years, I've seen new weld procedures in the structural field grow and grow. What really surprised me a few years back, though, is the number of calls I received from rebar contractors who were awarded a job requiring rebar welding certification. A large number of remodels or seismic upgrades were taking place in the Northwest, and many included projects needing an ironworker with rebar welding certifications. After meeting with contractors and receiving a copy of their weld procedure, I realized the importance of having a qualified rodman who can not only read blueprints and install iron, but also weld on rebar when required. Since then, rebar welding has been introduced to all apprentice and journeymen welding classes and many of our members have successfully completed and passed the qualification test. Many of the welding procedures for rebar can be found in the Quality Assurance Manual available to our training centers that are accredited testing facilities.

In Ann Arbor, Mich. in July, those enrolled in this new course will cover the latest techniques for the welding of rebar applications. The classroom and hands-on instruction will focus on AWS D1.4 recommendations for SMAW welding; structural details, workmanship, techniques, electrodes, and inspection. Participants will receive an AWS D1.4 code book and have an opportunity to complete a welder qualification test. Certification will be based on successful completion of the weld test examination.

In the future, the National Training Fund will introduce flux core arc welding (FCAW) to the rebar welding course, and also a blueprint reading course for coordinators and instructors who teach reinforcing at their local. At the various meetings and conventions I've attended in the last year, all future construction reports look similar: Over 60% of all new construction will be associated with rebar and post-tension applications. Many high-rises today are being built with concrete and it is important our members are trained and ready when future projects break ground!

For information on welding procedures or training please call the National Fund office!