January 2013

28th Annual Ironworker Instructors Training Program

The National Ironworkers and Employers Apprenticeship Training and Journeyman Upgrading Fund conducted the 28th Annual Ironworker Instructors Training Program this past July on the campuses of Washtenaw Community College and Eastern Michigan University. Over 600 instructors, apprenticeship coordinators, business managers, employers, contractors, guests, and special presenters participated in the program.

During the opening session on Sunday evening, July 15, General President and National Training Fund Labor Co-Chair Walter Wise welcomed the participants and told them, "The one thing we all have in common is one goal "to continually turn out, year after year, the best and safest ironworkers in the world."

President Wise then introduced Management Co-Chair and President of TSI/Exterior Wall Systems Victor Cornellier, who thanked the National Training Fund and IMPACT for continuing to expand partnerships with our contractors and stated, "Union contractors and union workers form an important partnership, and this program strengthens that partnership."

General Treasurer Edward McHugh addressed the participants and commented, "It is through the dedication of our local union instructors that we can face the challenges of the future with a well-trained workforce."

Executive Director of Apprenticeship and Training Lee Worley told the audience, "In order to have successful training programs, you have to have effective instructors. The goal of this annual program is to develop the most effective instructors in the building trades."

Also speaking during the opening session were Michigan State Representative Rebekah Warren, Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje, Washtenaw Community College President Dr. Rose Bellanca, and Jerry Schulte, associate director for construction and design at the University of Michigan.

During the opening session, three annual program instructors were recognized for their many years of service: Jack Gavett, Local 229 (San Diego), Dane Bowers, Local 340 (Battle Creek, Mich.), and Ray Simpson, Local 700 (Windsor, Ontario).

Mike Relyin of the Apprenticeship and Training Department announced that 25 individuals were receiving their Qualified Ironworker Instructor Certificate for completion of required courses as part of the annual training program.

Frank Piccione of the Apprenticeship and Training Department announced that 25 local unions were receiving certificates for successful completion of the Ironworker Apprenticeship Certification Program (IACP).

There were 46 courses offered during the annual program, including several new courses:

  • Hazard Recognition: Preventing Falls in the Ironworking Industry
  • Rebar Welding Certification - SMAW
  • Metal Building Systems

IMPACT offered four courses for contractors:

  • Cost Estimating and Bidding is Not Rocket Science
  • Effective Project Management: The Project Leader
  • Getting Paid
  • Building Information Modeling: Using Graphical Models to Manage Steel Erection

One of the reasons the annual program continues to be a success is the participation of our supporting vendors. These vendors conduct courses, give presentations and demonstrations with state-of-the-art equipment, offer training materials, run contests, and have become an integral part of the program.

This year our supporting vendors and organizations included American Welding Society, Applied Bolting Technology, Barsplice Products Incorporated, Bond Beebe, CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training, Clean Air America, The Crosby Group, ESAB Welding and Cutting, EZE Bend, Gotham, Harris Products Group, Hilti Incorporated, Hypertherm, Hytorc, Iron Workers Local 25 (Detroit), Klein Tool Inc., Lincoln Electric Company, Max USA Corporation, Metabo, Miller Electric Manufacturing Company, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Pacific Laser Systems, PipeMaster Tools, Post Tensioning Institute, Red-D-Arc, RoboVent, Skidmore-Wilhelm Manufacturing Company, Smith Equipment, and Tiger Industries Corporation.

General Secretary Eric Dean addressed the participants during the awards session on July 19. Mr. Dean acknowledged the career achievements and support provided to the National Training Fund by Bill Livingston. Bill, chairman of Quality Re-Steel and National Training Fund trustee, addressed the participants, announcing that it was time to pass along his trustee responsibilities to the next generation.

In addition, there were presentations of prizes by vendors to participants based on hands-on events held during the Wednesday evening vendor demonstrations. The final event during the closing session was a "week in review" slide show with music that highlighted key events from the training program.

By all accounts, the 28th Annual Ironworker Instructors Training Program was a success. The Apprenticeship and Training Department and IMPACT are now busy working on the 29th Annual Ironworker Instructors Training Program. So mark your calendars and join us in July of 2013 to participate in this quality program dedicated to strengthening our apprenticeship and training system.