June 2016—The Finishing Trades Institute (FTI)—the education department of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) and the Finishing Contractors Association (FCA)—has entered into a formal commitment with the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) to offer to IUPAT members training and testing services leading to CCO Signalperson and Rigger Level I certifications.
“The FTI’s core purpose is to develop and expand a qualified and competitive work force for the finishing trades industries, and to oversee an apprenticeship training program where those who wish to enter the trades can learn their craft,” commented FTI Director, Anton Ruesing. “The FTI provides the necessary skills to do the job as well as the training to do it safely.”
“FTI recognizes that by becoming CCO-certified Signalpersons and Riggers, IUPAT members will realize significant benefits, including fewer accidents, more consistent training, reduced risk, and expanded job opportunities,” said Tom Pfundstein, PhD, FTI Director of Curriculum and Instruction. “FTI is therefore committing the resources to facilitate both the training required for successful CCO certification and the CCO certification process itself.”
FTI began the process last year when it hosted a combined event whereby 20 FTI instructors received Signalperson training, earned their CCO certifications, and then attended an NCCCO Signalperson Practical Examiner Accreditation Program (PEAP) workshop, where they were accredited to administer CCO Signalperson Practical Exams.
“FTI’s renewed commitment this year paves the way for a similar process for the CCO Rigger Level I program,” said NCCCO Director of Operations and Program Development, Joel Oliva. To avoid any conflict of interest, NCCCO will not deliver the actual training to prepare candidates for certification, but will facilitate the exam administrations and the PEAP workshops. “The objective is to train a core group of FTI instructors who can not only provide preparatory training for the CCO Signalperson and Rigger Level I exams but also administer CCO practical exams on an as-needed basis,” said Oliva.
FTI’s commitment promises to further boost the burgeoning CCO Signalperson and Rigger Level I programs, which as of April 1, 2016, had certified more than 12,500 signalpersons and 8,000 riggers, with at least 15,000 certificants holding either certification or both.
IUPAT represents a growing workforce in the United States and Canada. Its members work in the finishing trades as industrial and commercial painters, drywall finishers, wall coverers, glaziers, glass workers, floor covering installers, sign makers, display workers, and convention and show decorators.