ICB Conference Recap

More than 100 union sheet metal industry professionals from across North America gathered for the 16th annual International Certification Board (ICB) conference May 1-5 in Saint Charles, Missouri, just outside of St. Louis.

The five-day event featured classes such as National Energy Management Institute (NEMI) Fire Life Safety Levels 1 and 2 Supervisor; Blue Beam software; National Air Filtration Association (NAFA); NEMI TAB Supervisor; Environment Protection Agency (EPA) 608; 70E based on SMOHIT materials; Chilled Beam and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 200; Architectural Sheet Metal; and American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) Certified Healthcare Constructor (CHC).

Exams included NAFA Certified Technician, EPA 608, NEMI Fire Life Safety Levels 1 and 2 Supervisor, and ASHE Certified Healthcare Constructor. At the time of this writing, results from three exams were released for 40 participants, 35 of whom passed. Results of the EPA 608 and ASHE CHC will be reported at a later date.

The CHC course, led by York Chan, administrator of facilities with Advocate Health Care, and Tim Adams, director of member professional development, for ASHE, was a first for the ICB Conference.

“Safety is key,” Chan said. “Lifting the wrong ceiling tile can release aspergillus spores that can literally kill patients. Normally, it’s general contractors that pursue the CHC certification. ICB and the TAB workers are the first subcontractors to show interest. They deserve a lot of credit for wanting to get members certified.”

Although education, comradery and certification are its main goals, the conference covered  other themes, including how sheet metal workers can influence the local and national codes that shape their careers, scope of work and ability to bid on projects.

“All of the conference courses are helpful,” said Kent Attwood, TAB supervisor for Independent Air Group, Inc. in Hesperia, California, after taking the NAFA Certified Technician class. “They keep me on my toes and remind me that I’m always in the learning process. The classes wake people up to the fact that things are always changing in our industry, mostly for the better.”