Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

Architectural: New ITI Strike Force Wall Paneling Training Makes Major Projects Possible

What do architectural sheet metal contractors do when a project comes along, and they have the craftspersons, but they need to immediately increase specific skills levels to install certain types of metal wall paneling? Where do SMACNA architectural sheet metal contractors turn?

They call-in the Strike Force training instructors of the International Training Institute (ITI).

Local Union 19 members start installing outside-facing corner panel.“Today’s wall and roofing assemblies are much more sophisticated and complex, and are typically designed as a system, not just individual components,” said the ITI’s Daniel McCallum, who leads the Strike Force training program. With 30 years of experience in architectural sheet metal work and business ownership experience, McCallum says he “understands systems and what our members need for training.”

“Strike Force training can be used to deliver tailored training for various types of architectural wall/roof systems,” he said. “The objective of this type of tailored training is to increase the individual’s knowledge base of a skilled worker and develop new skill sets and new techniques for existing skills so workers are more knowledgeable, effective, and efficient on the project.”

Local Union 19 members start installing paneling.Strike Force training includes metal composite material (MCM) systems, metal roofing, insulated material metal wall panel (MWP) systems, single skin MWP systems and more. Strike Force training is also available in a wide range of sheet metal applications, Page noted. ITI works with a number of manufacturers of such systems as part of its training resources.

“ITI announces its training schedule every November, but projects come up when local unions might not have training in place and no time to wait for a scheduled offering,” said IT administrator James Page. “It’s no different from when you have a wildfire and send in the hotshots. Strike Force training teams offer immediate mobilization versus something planned months in advance—we take it to another level.”

For Strike Force training, ITI identified 11 styles of architectural work from the training materials for its 480-hour, four-year program, and pulled out topics that were specific to various manufacturers. The training materials includes drawings and mock-ups.

The Strike Force program serves immediate needs by showing contractors how to apply what they already know and use new tools or techniques. Training only takes three to four days.

Horizontal metal wall panel system mockups completed.“We can train a crew to put a system together in 10 to 20 hours,” McCallum said. “We leave them with training, drawings, models, and an instructor.”

Strike Force Training adds another resource to about 150 Joint Apprentice Training Center (JATC) schools and SMART training centers in the U.S. and Canada. The Strike Force program has “12 Strike Force instructors who travel to provide this specialty training.”