International Masonry Institute News

More Skills, More Options with Refractory Training

Daily news coverage of job layoffs makes everyone nervous. But instead of just worrying about it, some BAC members are taking advantage of specialized refractory training available through IMI to boost their job options.

Ted Champ, President of BAC Local 4 Indiana/Kentucky, knows firsthand what a difference it can make. Rocked by last week’s news that a huge steel plant in his area was cutting 400 jobs, Champ was relieved to hear that the 90 or so “highly skilled” Local 4 refractory members are not only working now, but plant managers are so impressed that they are doing everything they can to keep them working.

“Refractory training has been positive for us,” says Champ. “We got IMI in the door and explained that IMI can take care of any specialty need. The relationship has really helped out now. “

Champ notes that having training specialists on tap really solidified the union’s relationship with the plant. Plant managers, who are not shy about voicing concerns, especially about getting their money’s worth, are really happy about IMI’s refractory program, and hope to send more people to The Flynn Center soon.

“Through this training, we’re keeping members working. If you have the skills, it’s extra insurance.”

The people taking the current refractory class at The Flynn Center come from many backgrounds, but they share one goal: enhancing their skills to increase their options in an unpredictable economy.

For information on specialized training through IMI, call 800-JOBS-IMI or go to

For photos of refractory training at The Flynn Center, go to and check out the Refractory Training albums.