May 2012

Supervisor Training for Shop Ironworkers

The Shop Department, IMPACT and the National Training Fund have been working with a labor/management advisory group on the development of a new training package entitled Supervisor Training for Shop Ironworkers. The purpose of this informative new training package is to help improve the job performance of ironworker supervisors or foremen in shops.

The Supervisor Training for Shop Ironworkers reference manual contains ten modules that focus on the knowledge and skills required to be a successful shop supervisor. These include:

Module 1: The Shop Ironworker Supervisor
Module 2: Creating an Effective Work Team
Module 3: Communication Skills
Module 4: Problem Solving
Module 5: Documentation and Record Keeping
Module 6: Labor-Management Relations
Module 7: Planning and Scheduling
Module 8: Safety Management
Module 9: Quality Management
Module 10: Designing and Implementing Shop Training Programs

The members of the labor/management advisory group responsible for development of this manual include Erik Schmidli, Local 790 (San Francisco); Dave Marcinew, Canron Western Constructors Limited; Josh Cindrell, Hillsdale Fabricators; Bill Mercer, Local 805 (Calgary, Alberta); Phil White, Local 834 (Toronto, Ontario); AJ Blair, Local 516 (Portland, Ore.); Al Peltier, Local 811 (Wausau, Wis.); and Harvey Swift and Rick Sullivan from IMPACT.

In May, a pilot course based on this new manual was held at the regional training center in Benicia, Calif. The Supervisor Training for Shop Ironworkers is a 24-hour course designed to develop skilled ironworker supervisors. During this course the participants learned the roles and responsibilities of the supervisor. In addition, they learned how to create an effective work team, communicate effectively, apply problem-solving skills, document and maintain records, maintain labor-management relations, plan and schedule work, implement a safety program, and ensure the quality of work. They also learned how to design and implement shop training programs.

The course participants represented both local unions and shop employers. Locals represented included 712 (Vancouver, British Columbia), 790, 805, 834, and 838 (Regina, Saskatchewan). Employers represented included Canron Western Constructors Limited, Solid Rock Steel Fabricating, C. E. Toland & Son, XL Ironworks, Supreme Steel, AMT Metal Fabricators, Dietrich Iron Works, Westco Ironworks, Empire Iron Works, Ebco Industries, and Armtec. Representing the Shop Department were District Representative Eric Bohne and General Organizer Tony Butkovich. The course instructors were Erik Schmidli from Local 790 and Rick Sullivan from IMPACT.

Due to the strong interest in this training manual and course, this year for the first time a course designed for shop local representatives and shop employers will be held during the annual instructor training program in Michigan in July. The course is entitled Designing and Implementing Shop Training Programs. This 20-hour course is designed for fabrication shop personnel responsible for managing the training of shop ironworkers. This course will focus on the design and implementation of various training options including formal training, one-on-one mentoring, and registered apprenticeship programs.

Participants will also learn how to use the Training and Fabrication for Shop Ironworkers, the newly developed Supervisory Training for Shop Ironworkers, and other ironworker training packages as part of shop training programs.

For more information on the 28th Annual Ironworker Instructor Training Program, being held during July 15-20, 2012, at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Mich., contact the Apprenticeship and Training Department at 202-383-4870.

When asked about the impact of this new Supervisor Training for Shop Ironworkers reference manual and course, Executive Director of the Shop Department Tony Walencik replied, “I am confident that this new manual and course will benefit our shop locals and their signatory employers by improving the performance of the shop supervisors.”

For more information on how this new course can be brought to a training center near you, contact the Shop Department at 202-383-4846.