Highlights from this Month's e-Newsletter
Helping beginning framers develop proficiency
It’s no secret that the construction industry has a talent shortage. When the housing market tanked in 2008, it is estimated that about 1.5 million experienced builders left the industry, with only half of those workers returning to the construction trade after recovery. Builders are scrambling to find qualified workers to fill positions. In the first quarter of 2018, there were about 225,000 unfilled job openings, and 74 percent of builders report a shortage of finish carpenters, rough carpenters and framing crews. Faced with impending projects, builders often have little choice but to fill these roles with inexperienced workers who need to be trained on the job.
Over the past three years, APA Engineered Wood Specialist Daren Graham has provided on-site field training for builders, framers and project managers working on large wood-frame projects in Texas, Louisiana and Minnesota. Typically combining classroom training with on-site walk-throughs, Daren has trained workers new to the industry as well as crews switching to large wood-frame projects from concrete and steel.
With inexperienced workers on site, rookie mistakes happen—as evidenced by the missing hanger in the image below right. So the training for large wood-frame building covers the basics, like spacing OSB and plywood panels 1/8 inch at their edges and the importance of following the nailing schedule. “There’s a lot going on, and a lot of times the trades just don’t know what to look for. When they don’t know, bad things can happen,” says Daren. “Crews need to understand the load path. It’s fundamental. Is everything accounted for top to bottom? Does it stack? Where do you install hangers and blocking as the building goes up?”
Using a training approach that covers the basics, the theory and the real-world application helps new framers see the big picture and get up to speed on their skills. “We talk about beam and joist installation. We cover the dos and don’ts of installing, cutting and notching beams, as well as the design theory that goes behind the rules,” says Daren. The training includes moisture management, from knowing which materials need to be kept dry to understanding the influence moisture can have on the construction project as a whole. Daren cautions, “With any building that’s longer than 80 feet in length, you need to take special precautions to make sure you don’t have a lot of accumulated panel expansion in the floors or in the roof assemblies.”
Daren will present Frame it Right! Back to Basics for Big Buildings, a webinar targeted to framers and direct line supervisors, on November 29, 2018, to cover all of these topics. A recorded version of the webinar will be made available for on-demand viewing soon after the live version. Register for Frame it Right! below. For in-person nonresidential framer training, contact your local APA field representative.
Frame it Right! Back to Basics for Big Buildings
Thursday, November 29, at 9:00 a.m. Pacific / Noon Eastern
The demand for commercial and multifamily construction is soaring, and the framing industry is expanding to meet this demand. APA – The Engineered Wood Association has walked hundreds of job sites and identified the most common wood construction framing errors found in today’s nonresidential buildings. This session will examine the consequences of these framing mistakes from the ground up, providing practical solutions for avoiding typical issues using APA’s resources as a guide.
Inside the Circle
Based in College Station, Texas, Daren Graham is an Engineered Wood Specialist who has over 18 years of experience with engineered wood products and their applications. Daren started his career with Wood-I Beam, Inc. in Florida, continuing with Georgia-Pacific after company ownership transferred to GP. He went on to work for Louisiana-Pacific as a District Sales Manager in several territories in the U.S. and has worked on software development for the industry and as an independent consultant to sales teams. Daren has been recognized for his national sales efforts and also for his work as an instructor in engineered wood products training.