IMI takes seriously the name of its professional education program, Contractor College. Offered in partnership with the International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (ICE), it follows a rigorous curriculum to develop contracting professionals versed in all aspects of business, from quality assurance to computer applications.
After 64 credit hours of study, aspiring graduates must also demonstrate professional practice competence.
Along with that solid foundation, the program helps union contractors keep an eye on the future by identifying emerging market trends and needs.
In Ohio, for example, contractors wanted to brush up their knowledge of tile, marble and terrazzo, and get their arms around green business opportunities. They also got to interact with designers during hands-on demonstrations that really help ideas sink in - and show off the value of skilled training.
"It was eye opening and understandable," says one contractor.
In Indiana, where quality assurance is a hot topic, the May session covered that, plus useful tactics to achieve it, like grouting/reinforced masonry certification.
"Continuing education is a must, especially in this challenging economy."
- Scott Hermesch, Estimator/Project Manager, Batts Construction, Inc.
Michigan contractors will learn more about masonry engineering, movement control, safety and prequalification at their October session, while those in upstate New York will get a similar slate, plus a restoration class this November.
This fall, contractors from all over will benefit from a packed session at The Flynn Center in Maryland, that includes green and retrofit architecture, QA, air barriers and restoration.
The industry standard
This September, IMI will again hold a custom session at the annual meeting of the Tile Contractors' Association of America, featuring life cycle cost analysis and sustainability.
TCAA members have long recognized IMI Contractor College as the standard for mason contractor certification. Other contractor organizations also count course credits toward their certification programs, and some courses quality for AIA credits, too.