2023 has been another busy year at the iFTI. Before we move forward to an exciting 2024, let’s recap some highlights of the year:

  • iFTI’s COE Reaffirmation – Since its initial accreditation in 2017, the iFTI has worked to comply with the conditions and standards of the Council on Occupational Education (COE) to maintain a high level of quality and continuous improvement as a post-secondary occupational institution. The iFTI’s Training Programs (Associate Instructor and Master Instructor) benefit not only our instructor development, but also create job satisfaction which can lead to higher retention rates, improved recruitment, and more effective marketing and organizing as a whole. The COE Reaffirmation Visit last October 2023 concluded with no findings of non-compliance. Further feedback and final accreditation status will be announced by the Commission by the end of this year.
  • COE ISC Accreditation  – The COE accredited the newest Instructional Service Center Site (ISC) in Henderson, Nevada, Northern California DC16: Apprentice & Journeyman Training Trust Fund Las Vegas last April 2023. We look forward to hosting more iFTI training and education at this site to better serve our West Coast instructors.
  • Council on Occupational Education (COE) Additional Highlights for the year:
    • Meeting with the COE Advisory Committee last September 2023
    • Attended the COE Summer conference in July 2023 in San Antonio, Texas and the COE Annual meeting in November 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.
    • Published several COE Accreditation resources in the LMS homepage including the Self Study, COE plans, Faculty, ISCs, Survey Results, Student Handbook, Organizational Chart, and iFTI Class Syllabi.
    • COE elected Thomas Pfundstein, Ph.D as COE Commissioner and DC 82’s Tom Aasheim as Registered Apprenticeship Vice Chair.
    • The Associate Instructor Training Program has 311 graduates.
  • Conducted a total of 75 iFTI instructor classes, 8 of which were delivered through the help of COE-approved Instructional Service Centers (ISCs) at District Councils 16, 21, and 30 and 1 off-campus class at DC 6. We have 1,088 completions from 472 class participants. 
  • The Curriculum team created 302 new courses (DC-specific, trade-related, FTI, and third party) and updated 213 courses with the help of subject matter experts. These courses are available in the iFTI Learning Management System (LMS). Follow the monthly LMS alerts to stay updated. 
  • Trade Curriculum Development – The Hydro Blasting committee is very involved and has been meeting bi-monthly to review course content. There are eight total Hydro Blasting courses. The first four have been reviewed, edited and approved by the committee. 
  • The iFTI has extended our partnership with Rosetta Stone through November 2024 to build our members’ fluency and confidence to speak new languages has resulted in 70 members learning a new language. Members spent 165 hours in the program!
  • The iFTI LMS is making strides in expanding our training resources for Spanish-speaking members. We currently have 36 online courses including OSHA 10 and OSHA 30. 
  • Susan Hardwood Grant (SHG) – The iFTI received the DOL Susan Harwood Training Program Targeted Topic Training grant to develop and update the Pandemic Resiliency (Infectious Diseases including COVID-19) and Temperature Extremes Focus on Heat Stress) courses. The iFTI has trained instructors with a goal to train 5,000 members by December 2023. The training materials are available in the LMS and also translated in French and Spanish.
  • Bridge Programs – As a part of its commitment to inclusivity and diversity, the IUPAT launched the Bridge Programs, a unique approach to improving job quality and creating access to good jobs for workers who speak English as a second language. IUPAT’s Bridge Programs pair IUPAT’s training institute and District Councils with regional adult education providers and workforce development partners to provide ESL services to potential new members and current apprentices and pre-apprentices. The purpose of the Bridge Programs is to help non-native English speakers improve their language skills specifically for the workplace, and focuses on industry-specific terminology and communication skills.
  • Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – Aside from the Train-the-Trainer classes, the iFTI offers 13 online employee and employer courses which includes Canadian and state-specific regulations (California, Connecticut, and New York). The generic harassment course is COR 1001 Sexual Harassment* was also translated into Spanish and French. 
  • Instructor Evaluation and Enhancement Program – The iFTI promotes consistency of training delivery of iFTI and trade-specific classes at the District Council level as part of a Department of Labor grant. The instructor evaluation consists of observation, documentation and feedback of an instructor delivering one or more training modules. 
  • Flooring Summit/Curriculum – iFTI Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Tom Pfundstein presented at the LMCI Flooring Industry Summit held on November 13-14, 2023 in Carlsbad, CA.
  • Industry leaders attended the 2023 National Glazing Infrastructure and Workforce Development Forum – The forum discussed how the IUPAT training and its workforce are making a difference in building 21st century infrastructure.
  • The iFTI received approval for the Reaccreditation of the Initial and Refresher EPA Lead RRP courses beginning December 6 2022 to October 11, 2026. 
  • Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) Training Videos @ DC 35 – The iFTI, in cooperation with FTI-NE of DC 35, filmed Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) course videos. The videos are available in the LMS and are based on best practices, OSHA Standards, and ANSI SAIA regulations. One of the trainers, Mike Moreschi, went over two equipment models – JLG 45853 boom lift and Genie GS-2632 scissor lift.
  • Extended the assistance to our affiliates by covering the costs of Third Party Distance Learning courses in the LMS until June 30, 2024. The Third Party online library expanded to 165 courses with more than 300 online lessons including OSHAs 10 and 30, Sexual Harassment (13 courses), Diversity in the Workplace, Several Health and Safety and Leadership courses.
  • Partnership with National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) granting access to wood flooring industry courses available through hands-on training, online learning as well as through monthly webinars. NWFA is promoting the 5 Installation Pathways/courses. For the list of updated courses, check the posted LMS NWFA ticker.
  • Compliance with US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) 
  • American Council on Education (ACE) – The iFTI is always looking to provide a variety of educational opportunities for our members. We submitted the Drywall Apprenticeship curriculum to the American Council on Education (ACE), a federally recognized accreditation which offers another pathway to a college degree. The ACE review team is made up of workforce industry professionals and selected faculty of higher education institutions that have academic expertise in the content area being reviewed (Drywall). The reviewers are responsible for determining if the course, exam, apprenticeship, or occupation meets the criteria for college credit recommendations. The ACE review team’s recommendation for the Drywall Apprenticeship determined a college-level equivalency of 64 credits. 
  • Our partnership continues with Columbia Southern University for IUPAT members to continue their education with both Associate and Bachelor degree programs in Occupational Safety and Health. This year, we had an instructor enroll in the Master’s Program in Occupational Safety and Health. An additional Articulation Agreement is in-progress with Pittsburg State University in Kansas.
  • New Member Orientation – IUPAT and the iFTI Curriculum team have developed a new orientation training program which will be used at District Council in 2024.
  • American School Counselors Association (ASCA) – American School Counselors Association Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA with 5,000 attendees from around the country was attended by a collaborative IUPAT and Job Corp team who were able to connect talk with hundreds of counselors and introduce them to the pre-apprentice and apprenticeship programs available to their students. 
  • Check out the course offerings for 2024. From the LMS homepage, click the blue box marked 2023- 2024 iFTI Training Calendar.

Happy Holidays!