June Updates


This summer, all of our training centers are open and back to business after adapting to new norms. For Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute (PNCI) and Northwest Carpenters Institute (NWCI), adaptation has led to the development of an online curriculum to keep carpenters safe, trained, and working. Read on to learn the latest.


We will reopen in July following strict social distancing, cleaning, and other COVID-19 prevention measures to ensure staff and students’ safety. Read the announcement from our Director, Bob Susee, regarding the changes to our class format and structure. 

We launched our online apprenticeship classes Monday, June 22, with thirty-three curriculum packages. Apprentices will receive an email notification when they are enrolled and can access courses on their computers and mobile devices. After completing the online portion, they will go to their respective training center to complete a project and apply what they have learned.

At the training centers, the class structures and routines have completely changed to accommodate the new format. Classes split  into two groups of six students. The first group does their individual projects on Monday – Wednesday at noon, the second group, from Wednesday at noon to the end of day Friday. This allows us to continue instruction for twelve students per week per class.

We have been working to enhance the cross-laminated timber (CLT) training mock-ups used in our class planned for later this Fall. Paul Philpott, with the Regional Council, spearheaded the effort by organizing key players from Oregon State University, RedBuilt, the Construction Centers for Excellence, and WoodWorks to collaborate on the project. This comes just in time as RDF Builders is scheduling a series of training in CLT for its crews in August.

Drawing provided by WoodWorks of CLT mock-up projects designed for training.

We have joined a roundtable group sponsored by Forterra that focuses on workforce development capacity for industries with emerging trends supporting sustainable growth opportunities. Steve Anderson highlighted our CLT training as a model for meeting industry needs in the growing market. 

Our instructors have worked hard to create instructional video shorts, building assessments, and standards for online class formats.

According to our consultants, the development of our curriculum would usually take six months. We are proud to say that we have accomplished it in three. 

Check out our schedule of classes.

Thank you to our Instructors, Program Specialists, Education and Technology, and Assistant Directors who all worked tirelessly to deliver the online classes to get our apprentices back in school.


On the heels of rolling out our online 24 Hour ICRA class, we launched our first instructor-lead 40-hr Apprenticeship intro class. This class was a top priority as it contains five safety certifications for our newest apprentices.

Our team has also created online safety courses for our continuing education (CE)/ Skill advancement. New online/ hybrid courses include forklift certification, fall protection, and mobile elevating work platform (MEWPS), which is the new required certification for operating both scissor lifts and boom lifts.

We are partially open for hands-on training. Class sizes have been limited, along with the number of classes offered. Strict COVID-19 protocols are in place to ensure the safety of our students and staff. 

  • If you are not scheduled for a class, we ask you to call or email, as only scheduled students and staff are allowed into the facility. 
  • If you are scheduled for a class, thoroughly read all materials sent to you by the training center; 
  • be prepared to have your temperature taken. 
  • A mask will be issued to you to wear the duration of the course. 
  • The facility is divided into two; you are to remain on your assigned side. 
  • Further guidance will be given to you by your instructor.

Watch the latest update from Mike Hawes

At this time, classes will only be scheduled out one or two months in advance. Please check our website for the schedule.

Check out this Advanced Concrete course instructional. 

If you are coming in for an apprenticeship class, you can rest assured, Thursday’s Pizza Q&A sponsored by the Regional Council is still going on. Representatives are zooming into the classrooms, so we can share some camaraderie as we answer questions.

We rolled out a new Leadership Class for apprentices at the end of May. This course is designed to help later-term apprentices transition to their upcoming journey-level positions through the idea that everyone is a leader. Some of the topics covered are: 

  • Knowing your own personality
  • Different types of communication
  •  Leadership traits 
  • Conflict resolution and team dynamics

“Knowledge is power, and PNCI has created a positive learning environment that holds the students accountable for being adaptable, and maintaining a growth mindset. They lead by example, and create lasting relationships, which provides strong, positive examples of the leadership shift that we as a Brotherhood/ Sisterhood are trying to create! I’m so excited to have been part of a pilot leadership program. I can’t wait to see how the program grows!”

– Stephanie Jacobson

PNCI Celebration of New Journey-Level Carpenters: November 14, 2020
The Governor’s Social Distancing Mandate forced us to postpone all group activities. We were all looking forward to the Annual Industry Outreach Event, where we celebrate the accomplishment of our apprentices who achieved journey-level status. We postponed this tentatively to November 14, 2020.


We will have trained 52 new first-year apprentices through the end of this year’s training season, which is due to wrap up on July 24. Not too bad considering the uncertainty of what our “new normal” would resemble.

Since reopening on May 11, we have cycled eight new piledriver apprentices, eight new northern carpenter apprentices, and nine new southern carpenter apprentices. Eighteen 6G welder qualification tests have also been administered since reopening.

Above all else, our training center staff are looking forward to each and every newly trained apprentice’s first opportunity to get dispatched out to a contractor and embark on their career. Nothing makes a trainer more proud than the success of their pupils. To date, sixteen of the twenty-five who completed their first year training on June 5 have received their first dispatch.


photo of montana carpenters apprentice working in training center

We have been running back to back classes to keep apprentices moving through the program. We are playing “catch up” since we were closed for a month. It has been nice getting back to work, and students are incredibly responsive to learning and making it to class.


COVID-19 Preparedness Qualification
Learn the new job site standards that you need to get back to work safely. This course covers rules and procedures outlined in the March 20, 2020, OSHA Guidelines and is available to all UBC members. Upon completion of the course and test, the COVID-19 Preparedness Qualification course will display on your Training Verification Card. Make sure that you are ready to go back to work and get your training certification today.

ICRA certified?
Take ICRA: Best Practices in Health-Care Construction. This online refresher course will keep your certification from expiring.

Access your online CITF learning center at ubc-citf.Carpenters.org

Did You Know?

Apprenticeship programs pay off.

Workers who complete apprenticeship programs earn $300,000 more over their lifetime than peers who don’t. Learn More


Sign up for mobile alerts

Mobile alerts from Northwest Carpenters. Periodic messages. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 91990 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 91990 for more information.
Terms & Conditions