Click image to enlargep>by Mary Scianna

The 30,000 sq ft Sheet Metal Workers Training Centre is comprised of three fabricating shops, classrooms (including a computer programming room) and offices.

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The main fabrication shop is an 8,000 sq ft facility that houses state-of-the art CNC shearing and bending equipment (Durma), a CNC power folding brake (RAS Reinhardt TurboBend), plasma cutting (Multicam 1000 machine) and roll forming equipment (Lockformer). The centre\'s Kevin Rabishaw says training on laser and waterjet cutting machines is done off-site at employer member facilities.

A second 5,000 sq ft shop is the welding facility. The shop includes 20 Lincoln-equipped arc welding booths with a Lincoln (HEPA filter) fume extraction system, a Lincoln Electric/Fanuc robotic welding cell, a Scotchman saw and other various welding equipment for MIG and TIG welding.

The third shop is designated for gas technician certification training for journeypersons and apprentices. The facility is under construction and expected to be operational later this year. 

“There will be a sufficient number of meters and gauges to allow all students to work with the equipment directly,” says Rabishaw, adding that the training centre’s on-site capacity will benefit current apprentices as well as an estimated 2209 sheet metal journeypersons who will be able to access training in night school classes and on weekends.”

In addition to training apprentices and journeypersons, the centre is a certified Canadian Welding Bureau test centre.

Skills Training: A Supplier’s Perspective
“All trade unions weld and Lincoln Electric recognized the power of trade unions very early on and understood that they play an important role in education for welders,” explains Jim Grant, a technical sales representative on the front lines of the union training movement in Canada. “Lincoln recognized by partnering with these unions we could enhance and improve the skill and knowledge base of welding by being part of the union movement with skills training.”

Called an “advocate and supporter of young people seeking knowledge in welding and other skilled trades” by Kevin Rabishaw, executive director of the Ontario Sheet Metal Workers Training Centre, Grant—and Lincoln Electric—is well known in the skill trades training arena.

“There’s a shortage of skilled workers and several years ago trade unions got involved to create industry-lead training for their members, and these training centres are building a foundation for future workers.”

Grant adds that Lincoln contributes to welding education by providing training aids—informational brochures and welding charts—equipment, fume management systems and design and consulting of welding shop set up and operation. 

“If you walked into the Ironworkers Union training facility or the new facility for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, everything related to arc welding would be Lincoln Equipment. We help the unions design the layout of the welding shop, provide equipment at a special union cost—we also provide, for free, temporary welding equipment for special events like the skills competition the unions hold—and help consult and design the fume extraction or smoke management systems.” SMT

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