Steel Erectors Association of America announces that S&R Enterprises LLC and Cooper Steel have been approved as NCCER Training Units and Authorized Assessment Sites to begin participating in the association’s Ironworker Craft Training program, reports the Steel Erectors Association of America. The initiative is intended to expand the availability of ironworker training across the United States.
“You just can’t go wrong investing in training,” said Duff Zimmerman, Vice President and COO of Cooper Steel, Shelbyville, Tenn.
“The goal of this program is to train and retain a good pool of crafts people and managers,” said Mark Yerke, Vice President of Construction, S&R Enterprises, Harrisburg, Pa.
A steel and precast contractor, S&R Enterprisesworks across the United States and in the Caribbean. Four employees of the company are now certified instructors, performance evaluators, and assessment site coordinators.
Accredited ironworker certification distinguishes that individual as a true craft professional. “These are portfolio-quality credentials that demonstrate to a general contractor the training and skills of your workforce,” said Yerke. S&R anticipates that their training center will allow the company and the industry to grow.
S&R’s training facilities in Harrisburg and in Florida will be used to train its 100+ employees. The centers will also be open to provide assessments for other SEAA member companies. In addition to classroom, internet-based, and hands-on instruction, S&R is developing a plan to create a localized training tower, capable of providing practical craft and safety training related to bolting, welding, and fall protection, for example.
Cooper Steel, Shelbyville, Tenn., a national-scale fabricator and erector, sees the program as a way to hone the skills of its 25 ironworkers, who range in experience from 6 months to 20 years. “We’ve had a strong safety program for a long time, but not anything specific for ironworker skills development,” said Zimmerman. “We believe this will improve the quality of our workforce, reduce the time to become a skilled ironworker, and it shows our employees that we have a vested interest in them.”
As an open-shop employer, the credential is important for another reason. “This is the first time an open shop can demonstrate a credential that is recognized throughout the industry,” said Zimmerman.
The Ironworker Craft Training Curriculum for Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Ironworkers was developed by NCCER in partnership with SEAA. As an accrediting body, NCCER establishes benchmarks for quality training and assessments. SEAA testing centers will be audited for quality control. Performance verification assessment measures skill obtained during training.