Training News

IMI Instructor Certification Program

Multi-Craft Approach Focuses on Industry Trends

Journal: January 2005

BAC and IMI instructors keep up on the latest OSHA training, through the ICP train-the-trainer approach. IMI National Training Center Instructor Mike Kassman teaches a class attended by, from bottom to top, Mark White of Local 43 OH, Dan Palazzo of Local 3 NY, Paul Cardillo of Local 3 NY, and Earl Matko of Local 9 PA, among others.

Now celebrating its 20th year, the IMI Instructor Certification Program (ICP) has evolved into a rigorous instructor training program that directly benefits BAC members at all levels of their careers, and the masonry industry at large. Participants, who represent all BAC crafts and the vast majority of BAC Locals, number close to 200. To date, the program has produced 178 certified instructors.

To keep BAC and IMI instructors on top of industry needs and to reflect BAC’s emphasis on cross-craft training, ICP courses are continuously updated. The program offers a mix of professional development and technical courses, plus hands-on sessions in all the BAC crafts and products. In order to become certified, BAC and IMI instructors must present an extensive graduate portfolio.

The 200-hour curriculum, which takes at least five years to complete, reflects a significant investment of time on the part of the instructors. BAC Local 5 Ohio Apprentice Coordinator Anthony McCullough, who graduated in 2004, wasn’t sure what to expect when he started in 1999. What stands out in his mind are the updates on industry trends and IMI activities, as well as the hands-on familiarization sessions in new products like AAC, which he often adopts for his own program. But at the top of his list is the ability to compare notes and strategies with BAC and IMI colleagues. “It’s really helped me,” he says.

Graduating ICP participants get plenty of practice time and support. From left, John Puntel of Local 1 PA/DE, Wendell Stirgus of Local 1 MD/VA/DC, Hector Arellano and David Tedeschi of Local 52 IL, and Michael Koch of Local 21 IL.

Robbie Marshall of Local 74 IL couldn’t agree more. “ICP has inspired me to push myself and to encourage others. I have learned that I can and do make a difference.”

One visitor to the 2004 session was Max Porter, President of The Masonry Society, and a professor of civil and construction engineering at Iowa State University. While he highly approved of the topics in general, “I was especially impressed with the masonry mock-up wall sections showing mistakes that typically can occur during construction,” Porter said. The mockups were part of the popular Codes and Standards class.

IMI Plaster Instructor John Totten, left, gives some pointers to Robert Alesandro of Local 4 NJ as other BAC and IMI instructors look on. A combination of classes and hands-on sessions helps to create well-informed, well-rounded instructors in the BAC/IMI training system. From left, Russell Wade of Local 1 CT, instructor Keith Harris of Local 9 PA, Mike Dolinar of Local 15 MO/KS, Bob Allison of Local 13 NV, and James Pimental of Local 3 MA cover the many facets of the PCC trade.

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