Construction across the U.S. and Canada is booming, raising demand for qualified workers to fill the gap left by retiring skilled craftsmen.
According to Dodge Data and Analytics, the total value of construction starts is projected to jump nine percent in 2016, mostly due to big projects across the country.
To keep up with the demand for a pipeline of skilled, qualified workers, the Iron Workers have amped up their apprenticeship and training programs. The goal is to attract new workers and elevate the skills of existing workers.
“We’re working to identify opportunities to replenish the pipeline of skilled workers,” says Iron Workers General President Eric Dean. “We’re developing programs to teach our ironworkers to be safe, innovative and efficient on the job.”
So far, the recruitment and training programs have been highly successful. Thousands of apprentice hopefuls have walked into Iron Workers training centers across the country. Currently, there are more than 125,000 ironworkers and more than 17,000 apprentices working across the U.S. and Canada.
The investment in attracting new talent is needed, according to contractors. “The Iron Workers Standards of Excellence reinforces the pride of every ironworker and their commitment to be the most skilled, most productive and safest craft,” says Bill Brown, President and CEO of Ben Hur Construction and IMPACT Co-Chair. “They readily demonstrate strong ownership and accountability in the task at hand.”
An Iron Workers apprenticeship combines on-the-job training with classroom teaching and pays apprentices while they learn. Apprentices complete an impressive 6,000 to 8,000 hours of hands-on learning. After three to four years, the apprentices graduate as productive, reliable journeyman ironworkers. A comprehensive list of all apprenticeship training centers is available at http://bit.ly/TrainingCenters. Visit ironworkers.org and impact-net.org for more information.