May 2015

National Fund Announces 2015 31st Annual Instructor Training Program

On behalf of the National Ironworkers and Employers Apprenticeship Training and Journeyman Upgrading Fund, I am pleased to announce the Thirty-First Annual Ironworker Instructors Training Program is being held at the Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan from July 13–17, 2015.

Apprenticeship training and journeyman upgrading continue to be important topics when conversing with employers across North America. Knowing our organization spends upward of $60 million a year collectively on training assures employers that our commitment to training is second to none. Providing instructor training is just as important. There are many professional and technical courses offered each year at our annual conference and assigning new instructors to classes that will improve their teaching skills is paramount to their growth as an instructor.

2015 promises to be another exciting year with two new courses that will certainly improve our training programs across North America. Each year we offer new courses to meet the needs of the local training program. This year we will offer the following new courses: 

Plumbing Aligning and Fastening Structural Steel: The objective of the course will be to focus on the subjects and information of Units 8, 9, and 10 of the Structural Steel Erection manual. Specific material covered will include equipment and methods used to plumb and align structural frames, and bolting and welding of structural connections. The material will be covered in detail, giving the participants a better understanding of the subject matter and enabling them to then pass the knowledge onto their students at the local level. 

Intermediate Computers: This course is designed for participants who have basic knowledge using a computer. Working in Windows 8, participants will learn about common computer terminology, hardware and software. This course is structured to maximize the student’s understanding of computers through a lecture-based and hands-on approach. Topics include file management, backing up and transferring files using different devices and media, setting up an LCD projector, learning about “Cloud” storage using Google Docs to create/edit/share Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents, and becoming familiar with social networking and how it could help you.

Those apprenticeship coordinators and instructors who complete specific course requirements will receive their Qualified Ironworker Instructor certificate. An effective ironworker instructor is one who has up-to-date technical knowledge and skills and who is able to competently conduct classroom and hands-on or shop training sessions. In 2014, we presented certificates to 29 ironworkers.

As our annual program is held on the campus of Washtenaw Community College, we have established the Industrial Training Associate in Science degree for ironworker coordinators and instructors. This degree program gives our journeymen the opportunity to apply their work as apprentice instructors and coordinators toward an associate in science degree. Ironworkers receive credits for their apprenticeship program courses and are able to complete courses during approximately five summer training programs in order to receive their degree.

We are extremely proud of our annual training program. Ensuring we have qualified coordinators and instructors with up-to-date knowledge and skills will help us to continue to develop skilled ironworkers to meet the needs of our contractors. This will allow us to maintain our reputation as the most skilled, well-trained workforce in the construction industry.