Beginning in 2015, the Michigan Capitol and its iconic dome underwent a massive renovation. The historic building, constructed in the 1870s, demonstrates the beauty and reliability that can be achieved with architectural sheet metal and soldering.
In a presentation at the recent biannual Partners in Progress conference, ITI staff discussed the architectural industry, calling it one of the fastest growing sectors of the sheet metal industry, with new products and systems rolling out almost daily.
Because the industry is growing so quickly, ITI is urging members of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation workers (SMART) members to get their soldering certifications.
“There are hundreds of soldering certifications out there,” said Mike Harris, ITI program administrator. “I think every SMART member should get certified in soldering, as we are seeing a real need for skilled workers in architectural sheet metal across the country. And, of course, the use of soldering isn’t limited to just architectural work. Every sheet metal worker should stay abreast of the newest techniques and tools in the industry.”
With baby boomers retiring in record numbers, the ITI predicts there will be 2 million fewer skilled members over the next decade. Those retirements mean there will be a shortage of trained workers to fill an ever-increasing number of high-skill jobs.
“We have to rise up and meet the opportunity,” said James Page, ITI administrator. “We are already seeing high-ticket, high-tech architectural projects underway and many more in the pipeline.”