LMCI Estimating Essentials Classes Filling Up Fast

In 2018, the Painters and Allied Trades LMCI began offering its Estimating Essentials class in cities across the US and Canada.  Although some upcoming classes still have seats available, classes are now closed in Toronto and Seattle.

A class for the “apprentice” estimator who may be a recent hire into your estimating operation, or an up and coming journey worker or foreman whose skills you want to further develop.

This two-day course includes classroom and hands-on practice of estimating from review of documents through quantity takeoff, calculation of all direct and indirect costs and concluding with the total price bid.

The apprentices work with mentors on projects in the Finishing Trades and the course is designed to illustrate both the basic and comprehensive series of steps that produce winning bids.

Click here to see where classes are available near you and contact your district council or employer to learn more on how you can attend.

Don’t Miss Out on the Resources LMCI Offers to Employers and IUPAT Members

The Painters and Allied Trades LMCI has a number of programs available for both the members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, and the companies that employ them.

The primary goal of these programs is to improve the skill-set of IUPAT members in the field to chart a path a more supervisory role in the workplace, while helping IUPAT industry partners build a better bottom line and increase their competitiveness in the Finishing Industry.

Estimating Essentials has classes scheduled in the United States and Canada.  A class for the “apprentice” estimator who may be a recent hire into the estimating department of a company, or an IUPAT journey worker or foreman an employer hopes to develop further.

This two-day course includes classroom and hands-on practice of estimating from review of documents through quantity takeoff, calculation of all direct and indirect costs and concluding with the total price bid. The apprentices work with mentors on projects in the Finishing Trades and the course is designed to illustrate both the basic and comprehensive series of steps that produce winning bids.

The LMCI Supervisor Training Program is designed to develop and strengthen the abilities that make effective project supervisors. This course is free for IUPAT signatory contractors and includes in-depth instruction covering some of the following topics:

  • Mentoring
  • Leadership Skills
  • Cost Realities
  • Employment Law
  • Contracts
  • Planning and Scheduling
  • Tool and Material Management
  • Structured Problem Solving

Visit LMCIonline.org for more information under the tab Programs.

Toolbox Talks Available from LMCI and CPWR

The Painters and Allied Trades LMCI is partnering with the Center for Construction Research and Training, CPWR, to bring the latest safety tools and news to the many construction sites members of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades work on across the United States and Canada.

Toolbox Talks are an effective safety measure that don’t require a lot of time on the job site, but can make a world of difference when it comes to keeping safety top of mind for the workers on site.

Download over 40 ready to print Toolbox Talk handouts here that cover a variety of safety issues produced by CPWR: Pages 1-11, Pages 12-22, Pages 23-33, Pages 34-44.

Also take a look at tips below from Safestart.com on how to give effective Toolbox Talks:

  1. Talk directly to your audience. Ensure the topic is relevant to your industry and worksite. You can also focus on their personal agenda—staying safe so they can attend their kid’s soccer game after work, participate in off-the-job hobbies and continue providing for their families. Make sure the talk matters to employees both on and off the job. If workers don’t feel the topic applies directly to them you will have a hard time keeping their interest.
  2. Keep it brief. People have limited attention spans and they’ll eventually start tuning you out no matter how important the topic of your toolbox talk is. Make only the necessary points, and put additional information in a handout or a follow-up toolbox talk on a later day.
  3. Stay positive! Incident investigations are a reactive approach to something negative happening—and toolbox talks can be the exact opposite. They’re an opportunity to proactively encourage safe behavior before an incident takes place. Keep the focus on what can be done to create a safe workplace instead of focusing on what has gone wrong in the past.
  4. Demonstrate your point. Nobody wants to feel like they’re at a lecture so try to make your talk interactive – when the audience is involved they are more likely to pay attention. Demonstrations, discussions and hands-on examples are all effective ways to get people to participate—and it will help them retain more of the information too.
  5. Tell a story, not a statistic. People believe stats but they remember stories. Statistics are a great way to get a point across but the best way to convey a point is to tell a story. Storytelling is a powerful method of conveying information and helping listeners identify with it and keep it top of mind—which is the goal of a toolbox talk. But don’t forget that stories should follow the other guidelines above, so keep them brief, relevant and make sure they clearly demonstrate your point.

The IUPAT Finishing Trades Institute Has a New (Web) Address

IUPAT International Finishing Trades Institute Receives Accreditation
from Council on Occupational Education

The Training Institution of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Now Found on the Web at www.IFTI.edu

The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) International Finishing Trades Institute (IFTI) has been accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).  Initially founded in 1971, one of the primary missions of the COE is to offer public assurance that accredited institutions provide quality instruction in career and technical education.  It is one of only eight accreditation agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

The IFTI develops curriculum and trains the trainers of the IUPAT, who then provide skills and safety education to the men and women of the IUPAT workforce in over 30 training programs in the Finishing Trades – industrial and commercial painting, floor covering installation, drywall finishing, glazing and glasswork and sign and display, among other crafts.

This COE assurance is only granted to institutions, like the IFTI, that meet rigorous educational and operational standards.  This includes operating under a 501 (c) 3 status, a minimum two years of a fiscally healthy financial status, it conducts an annual audit, and can produce published rules and regulations for employees and students.

In addition to meeting the criteria above, the IFTI also proved its merit for COE accreditation through its U.S. Department of Labor registered training standards for IUPAT crafts, its college degree programs with partner colleges, offering online learning via the IFTI Learning Management System, the development and implementation of skills certifications and active industry partnerships.

The leadership of the IFTI looks forward to its new accredited status to provide the means to improve the recruitment of new members, expand its degree programs with new college partners and qualify for additional grants and loans to enhance its training programs on the local level throughout North America. Currently, five other local IUPAT training programs are also accredited.

“Our economy needs workers who rise from apprenticeships like ours,” said Anton Ruesing, IFTI administrator. “This accreditation will no doubt serve the members of the IUPAT and our industry partners well as we continue to improve our educational, skills and safety training programs.”

Resources to Work Safely with Silica & Comply with the New Standard

The new silica standard for the construction industry went into effect on September 23, 2017 and was upheld by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in December.  Several Building Trades unions provided testimony and evidence in support of the standard because it will reduce our members’ risk for serious, often fatal illnesses.  OSHA estimates that this standard will prevent more than 600 deaths and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis each year.  An online resource, Work Safely with Silica (www.silica-safe.org) developed by CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training, can help our members and employers understand what is required to comply with the standard.

Written Exposure Control Plan

This free planning tool can be used by contractors to comply with the requirement to have a written exposure control plan.  The planning tool guides the user through three steps:

Step 1 – “Will you generate dust containing silica on the job?” 

This step includes a list of materials that contain silica, and for each one, a list of tasks (e.g., abrasive blasting, etc.).  An employer can select multiple materials and tasks that will be performed using each material.  If the contractor is not sure if a material contains silica, there’s a prompt at the bottom of the screen, “learn more.” Clicking on this link provides four different ways to find out if a material contains silica.  Once the materials and tasks have been selected, the “Continue” button turns green and can be clicked on to proceed to Step 2. (See Figure 1)

Figure 1

All of the materials and tasks selected in Step 1 automatically appear in this step, along with a list of equipment control options for each combination.  Similar to Step 1, if the user is not sure how to best control the dust, there are four different options to help them (Figure 2 – A).  For each equipment control option listed, a user can find commercially-available options and related information by clicking on the prompt above the list (Figure 2 – B).   There is space for the user to add specific details about where and how the materials and equipment controls will be used on the project.  Once the equipment-control options are selected, the “Complete” button will turn green and the user can proceed to the 3rd and final step.

Figure 2

Step 3 – Complete your Silica Control Plan

This is the final step.  All of the information entered for Steps 1 and 2 automatically appears in this step. There is space to fill in the remaining information that must be included in the written exposure control plan and there is a ‘click here’ prompt to learn more about what should be covered for each of the following:

  • The competent person who will be responsible for ensuring the plan is carried out
  • Procedures for restricting access to minimize exposures when respirators are required
  • Training that will be conducted
  • Housekeeping activities
  • Medical surveillance

There is also space for the company name, the project name and description, the person who is completing the plan, and space for other information the user would like to include in their plan. (Figure 3)

At each step, the contractor can go back and edit their plan.  While registering is not required to use the planning tool, contractors that register can confidentially save their plans.  Saved plans can be retrieved and edited in the future.  Registration only requires an email address—no company or personal identifiers are collected—and all plans are completely confidential.

Figure 3

Once Step 3 is completed, clicking on the green “Complete” button generates a complete written exposure control plan that can be emailed, saved as a PDF, printed—and if the contractor has registered—saved for future use.  (Figure 4)

Figure 4

This new standard also includes some unique provisions, including new approaches to specified control methods and medical monitoring. CPWR has developed resources to help workers and contractors understand what these provisions mean and how to comply.

Specified Control Method or Table 1

What is Table 1?  Other health standards require employers to conduct air monitoring—in other words, to take samples of the air workers breathe to make sure they are not being exposed to a substance, in this case silica, above the permissible exposure level (PEL) allowed by OSHA.  In this standard, OSHA included another option referred to as the “specified control method” or Table 1.  Table 1 lays out specific types of equipment, work practices, and respiratory protection, which, if fully and properly implemented, relieves the employer of having to do air monitoring.  To help employers and workers use Table 1, CPWR developed Table 1 – Equipment Names and Best Practice Tips.  This document includes OSHA requirements and tips from manufacturers, workers and contractors for how to implement the equipment-controls listed.

Medical Monitoring

OSHA also included a new approach to medical monitoring and reporting in this standard.  Employers must provide a medical exam to employees who are required to wear a respirator for 30 days or more per year, because they are performing work covered by the standard.  The exam must be offered:

  1. Within the first 3 days of being assigned work covered by the standard; and
  2. Every three years after the initial exam, if the worker is still required to wear a respirator for 30 days or more per year under the standard. Even if you wear a respirator for a short period of time during a day, that time counts as a day.

When you have this exam, the health care provider will provide you with a detailed medical report that explains the test results.  The employer only receives a medical opinion that includes the date of the exam, a statement that the exam met the requirements of the standard, and any limits on your use of a respirator.  The health professional cannot provide the employer with any other medical information without your permission.  This provision was included in the standard to protect workers’ privacy and encourage workers to have the exams.  When you have the exam, the employer is required to give you a copy of the medical opinion

It is important that you keep your copy of the medical opinion so that you can use it to show future employers that you have had the exam and avoid unnecessary exams and tests.  The CPWR Medical Monitoring Under the OSHA Silica Standard for the Construction Industry – Guide for Employers was developed to help employers understand the requirements, but it can also answer questions that you may have.  There’s also a Physician’s Alert on silicosis and silica-related illnesses that we encourage you to bring to your health care provider to make sure that you are properly diagnosed and treated.

For quick references to help you understand the silica hazard and ways to protect yourself, see CPWR’s Hazard Alert Card (Advertencia de Peligro) or Toolbox Talk (Español).

If you still have questions or want to share information about new equipment and work practices that you are seeing on the job to control silica dust, please email LMCI@LMCIonline.org.

Another Step Toward Glazier Certification

This week, in Hanover at the IUPAT International Training Center, members of a committee representing labor, contractors and manufacturers gathered for two days to work on a glazier certification program being developed by AMS. Administrative Management Systems, Inc, (AMS) provides single contact coordination of certification and inspection services between fabricators and installers of fenestration products (glass, windows, doors, skylights, glazing systems).

The IUPAT met with glazing industry contractors, manufacturers and specialists to draft curriculum for the glazier certification program.

The IUPAT is working with fellow glazing industry specialist to develop both a worker glazing certification, and one for contractors.  This meeting served as a step closer for the worker certification by drafting the written part of the certification testing, as well as reviewing the physical based testing.

USGlass Magazine Covers the Glazier Certification Initiative

This was a big step in getting the glazing certification program recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in late 2018 or early 2019, and in the field. The committee will meet again in the fall of 2018 to continue their work.

LMCI Teaches Fundamentals of Successful Contracting

The LMCI now offers a new course for IUPAT members and employers that provides students with the critical business knowledge to succeed in today’s construction industry.

The Fundamentals of Successful Contracting program is targeted at individuals who are seeking to advance in their field or aspire to run their own company.  The two-week program introduces the fundamental knowledge necessary for strategy development, financial management, operational effectiveness and strong project management.

Students will learn the essentials in managing and building a business through classroom instruction, workshops, case studies and hands-on exercises. The tuition for this program is $3,000

Courses include:

  • Cash Flow Strategies
  • Aligning Strategy with Business Development
  • Employment and Business Law
  • Fundamentals of Insurance and Bonding
  • Estimating
  • Project Planning and Scheduling
  • Supply Chain Management

Click or call the LMCI at 888-934-6474 or LMCI@LMCIonline.org for more details and a program schedule.

LMCI Estimating Essentials Class Up and Running

A class for the “apprentice” estimator who may be a recent hire into your estimating operation, or an up and coming journey worker or foreman whose skills you want to further develop.

The new LMCI Estimating Essentials class is currently being scheduled across North America with new classes announced almost weekly.

This two-day course includes classroom and hands-on practice of estimating from review of documents through quantity takeoff, calculation of all direct and indirect costs and concluding with the total price bid.

The apprentices work with mentors on projects in the Finishing Trades and the course is designed to illustrate both the basic and comprehensive series of steps that produce winning bids.


  • The Estimate and the Estimator
  • Contracts and Other Bid Documents
  • Quantity Takeoff
  • Direct Costs
  • Indirect Costs, Contingencies and Overhead
  • Common Errors Made and How to Avoid Them
  • Practice Estimates
  • Internet Resources and Tools

Watch the video below to see what students who have taken the class have to say, and check the registration page on LMCIonline.org to see if we are holding a class near you in the coming year.

New Report: It would take 37 Years to Fix or Replace U.S. Structurally Deficient Bridges

The nearly 48,000-mile Interstate Highway System literally moves the U.S. economy.  It carries 75 percent of the nation’s heavy truck traffic.  A new report finds there is the equivalent of one “structurally deficient”-rated bridge, on average, for every 27 miles of our major highway network.  The 1,800 structurally deficient Interstate bridges are crossed 60 million times daily.

When it comes to bridges needing attention, however, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

According to an analysis of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s just released 2017 National Bridge Inventory database, 54,259 of the nation’s bridges are rated structurally deficient.  If placed end-to-end, they would stretch 1,216 miles, or nearly the distance between Miami and New York City.

Cars, trucks and school buses cross these 54,259 compromised structures 175 million times every day, the data show.

The pace of improving the nation’s inventory of structurally deficient bridges slowed this past year.  It’s down only two-tenths of a percent from the number reported in the government’s 2016 data.  At current pace of repair or replacement, it would take 37 years to remedy all of them, says Dr. Alison Premo Black, chief economist for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), who conducted the analysis.

Noting President Trump is expected to address the nation’s infrastructure challenges in his Jan. 30 “State of the Union” address, Black says, “An infrastructure package aimed at modernizing the Interstate System would have both short- and long-term positive effects on the U.S. economy.”  Traffic bottlenecks, she says, costs the trucking industry alone over $60 billion per year in lost productivity and fuel, which “increases the cost of everything we make, buy or export.”

To help ensure public safety, bridge decks and support structures are regularly inspected for deterioration and remedial action. They are rated on a scale of zero to nine—with nine meaning the bridge is in “excellent” condition.  A bridge is classified as structurally deficient and in need of repair if the rating on a key structural element is four or below.

While these bridges may not be imminently unsafe, they are in need of attention.

Other key findings in the ARTBA analysis:

  • Iowa (5,067), Pennsylvania (4,173), Oklahoma (3,234), Missouri (3,086), Illinois (2,303), Nebraska (2,258), Kansas (2,115), Mississippi (2,008), North Carolina (1,854) and New York (1,834) have the most structurally deficient bridges. The District of Columbia (8), Nevada (31), Delaware (39), Hawaii (66) and Utah (87) have the least.
  • At least 15 percent of the bridges in six states—Rhode Island (23 percent), Iowa (21 percent), West Virginia (19 percent), South Dakota (19 percent), Pennsylvania (18 percent) and Nebraska (15 percent)—fall in the structurally deficient category.

State—and congressional district—specific information from the analysis—including rankings and the locations of the 250 most heavily travelled structurally deficient bridges in the nation and top 25 most heavily traveled in each state—is available at www.artbabridgereport.org.


Union Membership Numbers Rose in 2017

The Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual Union Members Survey today, and it indicates that union membership grew in 2017.

The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.8 million in 2017, edged up by 262,000 from 2016.

One of the more interesting aspects of that growth is that young workers under 35 are a significant part of it – representing three quarters of those new members.

Other highlights from the 2017 data:

  • The union membership rate of public-sector workers (34.4 percent) continued to be more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.5 percent).
  • Workers in protective service occupations and in education, training, and library occupations had the highest unionization rates (34.7 percent and 33.5 percent, respectively).
  • Men continued to have a higher union membership rate (11.4 percent) than women (10.0 percent).
  • Black workers remained more likely to be union members than White, Asian, or Hispanic workers.
  • Nonunion workers had median weekly earnings that were 80 percent of earnings for workers who were union members ($829 versus $1,041). (The comparisons of earnings in this release are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that can be important in explaining earnings differences).
  • Among states, New York continued to have the highest union membership rate (23.8 percent), while South Carolina continued to have the lowest (2.6 percent).

See the full details of the report HERE.