don_whyteBy Butch Ford, Retired Director of Training and Development at Austin Industrial When NCCER put together its first five craft curricula in 1991, it was determined that if the industry was going to have a standardized training program, then instructors should be taught to deliver training in a consistent and quality manner. Back in the early 1990s, NCCER created its “Train the Trainer” program, which includes the Master Trainer Instructor Certification Training Program to ensure uniform teaching methods. As part of the four-day Master Trainer Instructor Certification Training Program, NCCER trains and certifies the Master Trainer who, in turn, trains and certifies craft instructors through the Instructor Certification Training Program. Both programs are requirements of NCCER’s accreditation process and provide consistent delivery of training. This network of certified instructors assures that NCCER training programs meet the standards of instruction set by the industry. I was lucky enough to be involved with NCCER’s Master Trainer program from the beginning. My company, Austin Industrial, was one of the original companies to contribute to the start of NCCER’s craft training and instructor certification training programs. I even served as a subject matter expert on the first Instructor Certification Training Program committee. I also attended the first Master Trainer pilot sessions that were held. At the time, our industry needed a training program to improve the skills and knowledge of our craft professionals, and we also needed a system to recognize and track past training with portability between companies. As a Master Trainer, the majority of the training I did was through the Instructor Certification Training Program. This allowed our company’s craft instructors who attended the course to conduct targeted training sessions on site to improve the skills and knowledge of our craft professionals. Over the years, I certified over 200 of Austin Industrial’s employees as instructors. The Instructor Certification Training Program not only provided our instructors with the ability to conduct classroom sessions, but it also gave them additional skills they could use on a daily basis, such as communication skills, leadership skills and group dynamics. I am honored to be a part of NCCER’s early workforce development programs, such as the Master Trainer Instructor Certification Training Program. Back in 1995, there were only 400 certified Master Trainers and 2,000 certified craft instructors. Today, NCCER has trained and certified over 6,000 Master Trainers and nearly 65,000 craft instructors. Over the past 20 years, NCCER’s workforce development programs have become the standard in the construction industry, and I strongly recommend all contractors and owners to get more involved. With our workforce getting older, we need new craft professionals to expand and replace the current workforce, and NCCER provides the tools to help industry accomplish this. Cover1605For the rest of the story, read the full article in NCCER’s Cornerstone magazine.

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NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.