Photo credit: Shelby Erectors Inc.
The Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA) has had a busy year full of changes, improvements and a continuation of efforts. From awarding grants to its members to surveying its network to gain insight into the industry, the SEAA has had several ventures in motion. To read more and get all the details, see a few of their featured articles below:
On Sept. 2, SEAA announced that its 2021 Craft Training Grant that goes to companies who are just beginning to utilize SEAA/NCCER Ironworker Training and Assessment programs would be received by Erection & Welding Contractors (EWC), Berlin, Connecticut.
“Our goal is to educate and nurture each apprentice into an ironworker who employs best practices in our industry,” said David Desell, of EWC.
This grant gives companies a jump start by covering funds for setup, training for administrators, instructors and coordinators, and customer training materials for Ironworker Levels 1-3, and related curriculum.
“These companies demonstrated a strong commitment to the safety and health of their employees,” said Bryan McClure, Chairman of SEAA’s Safety and Education Committee.
The Safety Excellence Award went to nine members who were evaluated based on their EMR ratings, OSHA 300A statistics and safety program process over the last three years. In addition, five companies were recognized for their craft training programs based on criteria of portability of credentials, availability of apprenticeship programs, training and recruitment efforts.
NCCER utilizes subject matter experts (SMEs) from both industry and education to revise and refine their curricula. SEAA aided NCCER in this effort by providing SMEs from six of its member companies. These experts will be meeting the need to revise Ironworker, Reinforcing Ironworker and Welding curricula.
“SEAA’s relationship with NCCER goes back many years and continues to evolve as training needs change,” said Geoff Kress, President of SEAA. “We value the opportunity to contribute to curriculum development to meet the specific needs of our members,” he said.
Not only are new SMEs providing a fresh set of eyes and minds, but this collaboration offers the possibility of development surrounding a Steel Fabrication curriculum. The curriculum would potentially include topics such as blueprint reading, math and measuring, on top of cutting and welding techniques, which are areas that steel fabricators of the SEAA have been actively seeking training on.
With advances and victories in 2021, it also brought challenges for steel erectors in the industry. Namely, hiring more workers. The SEAA surveys its members on the most problematic business challenges they face. Over 40% of the respondents said that hiring workers is a notable issue for many in the industry. According to the survey takers, it’s predicted to remain an issue in the coming years.
On top of finding it difficult to hire new workers, growing the workforce is proving to be a challenge for steel erectors and fabricators, as SEAA’s survey revealed. A positive trend that the survey determined, however, is that 74% of members of SEAA who responded said they would recommend the association to friends and colleagues. This presented the possibility of growing its already thriving network.
The SEAA will be moving full speed ahead the rest of 2021 into 2022. With new projects and prospects on the horizon, SEAA will continue to promote safety, education and training programs for steel erector trades. To keep up with the association and its endeavors, you can learn more and get the latest updates on the news page of SEAA’s website.