Every architect has horror stories about construction quality on job sites. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) union wants to prevent that, investing $250 million for a training center in Las Vegas to teach and certify their workers.
The group has been building the International Training Center, just outside McCarran Airport, over the past several years, and recently completed phase five of the complex, bringing its total size to almost 1 million square feet.
The facility features more than 70 classrooms, its own dorms (with 300 guest rooms), and training shops fitted with facilities like scaffolding mock ups, concrete form making stations, a pile driver pit, flooring stations, glass curtain wall mock ups, turbine pit, a robot zone, and even a tank to practice underwater welding.
Third year apprentices from around the country train here for two weeks at a time. They include general carpenters, interior systems carpenters and drywallers, millwrights, floor coverers, millworkers, cabinetmakers, framing and residential carpenters, pile drivers, lathers, scaffolders, roofers, and workers in forest-product and related industries.
The UBC sponsors more than 200 training centers across North America (there are about 3,500 full- and part-time instructors associated with the UBC), but this is by far the largest. “Our job is to make sure our members are trained and ready,” said Bill Irwin, executive director of the Carpenters International Training Fund.