The program aims to expand work opportunities for our members by providing the necessary training to meet our contractors and owners growing demand for specialty welders.
To increase the number of Boilermakers who can weld Inconel, the Southeast Area Joint Apprenticeship Committee is offering a Lincoln automatic welding hood to those who pass an Inconel weld test. SAJAC created this new program for the Southeast Area to entice apprentices and recruits to go the extra mile and learn how to weld the exotic metal.
Inconel, an alloy of nickel containing chromium and iron, is resistant to corrosion at high temperatures. According to SAJAC Director Eric Olson, the metal is used for a variety of special applications, including overlay and welding dissimilar metals.
According to Jeff Hughes, Director of Training Services, the union needs more exotic metal welders. “It’s something we’ve been short of every spring and fall for the last four or five years.”
Welding Boot Camp hosts weld training at the new 35,000 sq. ft. facility in Hartsville, Tennessee. The Tennessee Valley Authority recently offered Boilermakers use of the expansive facility for training, and Boilermakers have put the new space to good use in preparing Boilermakers to be better equipped to preform work contractors need.
At boot camp, attendees first take a structural test. If they pass that, they move onto a tube test. The problem, according to IR Dusty Garmon, is that when the apprentices and recruits then go out on a job, they don’t come back for exotic weld training. To solve the issue, Garmon chatted with trainees over lunch about incentives, asking if a free automatic Lincoln welding hood would entice them to come back to learn Inconel welding. He received a decisive “yes!”
Garmon pitched the idea to Olson, who took it to the SAJAC committee where he received resounding approval. “The program aims to expand work opportunities for our members by providing the necessary training to meet our contractors and owners growing demand for specialty welders,” Olson said.
GUBMK Constructors is the first contractor to come to the new training facility to test trainees on Inconel welding. Hughes said this program may expand across the U.S.; but for now, the new program is for recruits, apprentices and even journeymen who work throughout the Southeast Area.