Demand is at an All-time High for Skills Training
With a projection of 12% job growth in the construction industry, and 41% of the current workforce retiring by 2031, demand for a skilled workforce is at an all-time high. Driven by a passion for training the future of our industry, our training centers are working hard to keep up with the booming industry and the next generation of carpenters that will carry our communities forward.
Interview with Will Barnes, Local 196
Welding Accreditation Supervisor, Pacific Northwest Carpenters Institute (PNCI)
How long have you been a carpenter?
I have been a piledriver/welder for 15 years, a welder my entire adult life, and an instructor for five years.
Where is the PNCI welding program available?
We currently have six instructors that rotate around our five welding lab locations:
IDAHO: Idaho Falls, Boise
OREGON: Redmond, Tangent, and Portland
Who benefits from the welding program?
The trades are seeing more demand for proficient certified welders. Weldwork is becoming more and more abundant with strict oversight.
Apprentices are required to take at least 40 hours of welding and cutting time. Millwrights and piledrivers are required to take 80 hours. Not all apprentices are required to complete certification but as tomorrow’s foremen and superintendents this gives them a fundamental understanding of the work.
Our program differs from that of a community college in that we provide guidance to our students throughout the program. Based on their career goals and the work that is happening, we help students identify the certifications that they will need and work with them to have those completed by the time they journey out.
What are some special things about the welding program?
Welders are artists. I like to say that 80% of it is an art form, 15% math, and 5% learning the machine.
I have been welding since 1988 and I have to keep an open mind to how the next generation learns. We have two virtual augmented welders that expose our students to the ground floor of the process without the risk and cost of welding with real materials.
The virtual welders are a terrific educational tool in that they are portable and 100% safe. They even score your performance which leads to some competitive fun.
A NEW LAB
Three years ago we built a new welding lab in Portland. We started from scratch. The new layout and dimensions allow apprentices and journeymen to work side-by-side. It is the local watering hole, students are able to exchange tips and tricks as well as contact information.
AWS ACCREDITATION AT PNCI
Based on interest, we recently acquired accreditation from the American Welding Society Accredited testing facility. We now offer our members and contractors a certification that is recognized nationally and internationally with 100% in house testing and zero out of pocket expense to our members.
Visit PNCI.org for lab hours and classes.
Looking ahead with the Northwest Carpenters Institute (NWCI)
To keep up with industry demands, the Northwest Carpenters Institute is expanding its training facilities with a new location in Dupont, Washington.
Augmenting current locations at Kent, Renton, Mount Vernon, Spokane, and Kennewick, classes begin at the new facility this October.
The 40,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art building will have a full spectrum of programs ranging from general carpentry to welding for apprentices and journey-level members.
Learn more at NWCI.org
On the topic of expansions, The North Puget Sound training center in Mount Vernon will be moving five miles north to a building that will be the largest facility that the Northwest Carpenters Institute has ever operated.
US Senator Sullivan visits Anchorage Training Center
On May 28, US Senator Dan Sullivan (R) addressed 1st-year apprentices at the Alaska Carpenters Training Center in Anchorage. He spoke on the importance of skilled men and women thriving in Alaska’s construction workforce, in addition to the prospect of future opportunities with the passing of an infrastructure bill by Congress.
Senator Sullivan has been an ally for the Carpenters. Most recently, he was instrumental in killing a bill in committee that sought to remove prevailing wage from all military construction projects.
“Construction work at military bases around the state is important to Alaska’s economy,” said the Senator, “and we need to make sure employers are able to hire a skilled Alaskan workforce for these jobs.”
The senator and his wife enjoyed a tour of the training center before they left. They were impressed with the quality of the training, how it is funded, and the number of veterans, women, and minorities that come through the program.
Learn more about the Alaska training center at sactcapprentice.org