Graduates of the 35th Annual Ironworkers Instructor Training Program proudly display their Qualified Instructor Certificates.
The 35th Annual Ironworkers (IW) Instructor Training Program recently took place at Washtenaw Community College in Ypsilanti, Michigan, for the 10th consecutive year. The 40-hour training program exceeds the Department of Labor's requirements for training apprenticeship instructors. Apprentice instructors must have expertise in the subjects they teach and be trained in teaching techniques and adult learning styles. The Annual IW Instructor Training Program strengthens IW apprenticeship and journeymen "upgrade training" by sharpening the knowledge and skills of instructors, apprenticeship coordinators, business managers and contractors. The IW National Training Fund and IMPACT work to improve course offerings and stay ahead of the industry every year.
Over 800 instructors, training coordinators, business managers, contractors and vendors from across the U.S. and Canada participated in this year's program, and 49 courses with 83 selections were offered, including the following:
- Advanced Welding Technologies: A 20-hour course covering safety, inverter power source technology, waveform control, gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) and gas-shielded flux-cored arc welding (FCAW-G) with classroom instruction and hands-on application.
- Advanced Layout and Total Station Training: A 40-hour course updated to include point layout data from AutoCAD and building information model (BIM) files.
- Foreman Training: A 20-hour course updated to include an exercise built around a fictional project, including project bid documents, specifications, drawings and a Lego® model of The White House.
- Ironworkers Learning Management System (LMS): A 10-hour course on the use of online manuals with assignments and exams. The LMS also tracks homework, scores exams and records grades, allowing the instructor more facetime with students.
It takes nearly five years of training and dedication to become a qualified instructor. Instructors must complete 220 hours of technical and professional development training to earn a Qualified Instructor Certificate. In 2019, 20 instructors were awarded Qualified Instructor Certifications, and 17 local training programs renewed their five-year Ironworker Apprenticeship Certification Program.
"I've been going to the training for about 12 years," said Greg Christianson, apprenticeship coordinator for the Ironworkers Local 86 Training Center in Seattle. "It's highly valuable, and I consider it one of the perks of being an ironworker instructor. It gives ironworkers the opportunity to grow and pass on knowledge to newcomers. It provides a format to network with other training centers across the U.S. and Canada, stay up-to-date on the latest trends and keep training cutting-edge."
For more information, visit www.ironworkers.org or call (202) 383-4800.