By Sara Geer
Ohio Precast Concrete Association hosts PQS Level I for its members.
Ohio precasters didn’t need to travel far in January to take Production and Quality School Level I in person. The Ohio Precast Concrete Association hosted the course locally with support from the National Precast Concrete Association.
Forty students attended the course offered in Canton, Ohio, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sam Lines, OPCA’s executive director and engineering manager at Concrete Sealants, said the regional course attracted many smaller businesses due to reduced travel costs and less time away from the plant. OPCA also subsidized a portion of the students’ tuition for the course.
“This provided only two days physically outside the plant for everybody,” he said. “And most people were within a couple hours drive of the Canton area, so it was a good turn-out and a good broad scope.”
Lindsay Precast had the largest attendance. Dean Wolosiansky, general manager at Lindsay Precast in Canal Fulton, Ohio, said the company sent a wide range of staff to the course including production employees, computer-aided drafters and project managers. The course offered an opportunity for everyone to be in a classroom setting to discuss daily issues or concerns together.
“When someone comes back from a PQS course, they have a sense of pride in their industry,” Wolosiansky said. “It feels good for them to understand the education behind the daily production processes.”
Key benefits from the class were lessons on mix design and reinforcement. Corey Mahaffey, CAD drafter at Lindsay Precast, said knowing the importance of rebar sizing, spacing, cover and type is something he incorporated into his job right away.
“Having a sharper knowledge on the subject will assist in catching more errors in drawings,” he said.
Jason Fortune, pump station project manager at Lindsay Precast, also said the course is very helpful for an employee brand new to the precast concrete industry. He said when it comes to concrete, most people know very little.
“Taking this class provides a clear image of the science and practicality that concrete brings to the building industry,” Fortune said.
Wolosiansky said the company’s goal moving forward will be to get interested and motivated employees to take more courses. As a 2016 Master Precaster graduate himself, he said it’s nice to see more people choosing to be invested in the company. Lines said OPCA will likely offer more NPCA education opportunities to its regional members moving forward.
“Oftentimes, NPCA seems very distant to smaller precasters, which makes up about 40-to-50% of our membership,” Lines said. “But when we can bring an NPCA event to their hometown it provides them a stronger connection to the larger association.”
If you are interested in offering PQS Level I, or any NPCA education, in your region contact Marti Harrell, vice president of education, at (800) 366-7731 or [email protected]
Sara Geer is NPCA’s internal communication and web manager, and is managing editor of Precast Inc.