FTI New England by Eric Redding
When September rolled in, we experienced the largest first-year class in memory: 115 apprentices from four trades. With a class this large, we were forced to think outside of the box. On day one, we brought everyone off-site to the Boston Teachers’ Union Hall in Dorchester. Our Business Manager Jeff Sullivan addressed the apprentices, talking about their futures and the many benefits that lie ahead with District Council 35 and the International Union. Our Craft Directors went straight to work with NFPA Hot Works and Aerial Lift training.
After the first day classes were split, with the Industrial Painters and Glaziers completing half the week in Boston for classroom instruction and the half in Brentwood for the hands-on. The following week; the Commercial Painters and Drywall Finishers followed suit. It took hours of planning and many of our part-time instructors to complete the training for so many apprentices. Moving forward, this class has been divided into the Industrial Painter class, two Glazier classes and three Painter/Taper classes.
Third-party certifications are increasingly standard, and for years, we’ve been working with the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC) and our Industrial Painters. We’ve recognized the C3 industrial lead class, the C5 lead refresher course, the C7 abrasive blasting certification, and the C12 airless spray certification. More recently, the Coatings Applicator Specialist (CAS) multi-level certification came into play, as well as the C14 plural component spray certification. Our Industrial Painters are subject to increasingly stringent training every year, and it’s that training that keeps our organization head and shoulders above our competition.
Our Glaziers are now front and center with their third-party certifications, most noticeably the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO). Every day, our glaziers operate glass manipulators, and to use this equipment, our members are required to have third-party certifications. We must have certified signalpersons as well, and fortunately, we have a complement of NCCCO certified instructors in-house at the FTI of New England. Our trainers have been gearing up and in the very near future, we will embrace Curtain Wall certification. We’ve assisted in some beta testing at our facility and we believe we’re ready to go. The Curtain Wall will have a 100 multiple choice question test based on a common body of knowledge and then a hands-on practical exam. After the initial exam is completed, there will be endorsements that can be added to the certification. Also coming soon, our glaziers will carry a certification naming them an ‘Architectural Glass & Metal Technicians’ (AGMT Certified). The purpose of all these certifications is to safely perform the task at hand, free of defects and ultimately, delivering a better product.
Whether it’s apprentice training, Journeymen upgrade training or health and safety training, your training program is always striving to deliver the best available instruction. Our instructors are constantly upgrading their skills and education. Our goal has always been to be leaders in the industries we represent.
It is my sincerest wish that every member will enjoy the holiday season and that the new year will be safe and prosperous to you and your family.