The MBCEA remains the strongest source of help for erectors seeking accreditation. We have compiled templates, tips and cheat sheets for any member interested in AC478. Included in this treasure trove is a draft training plan easily customizable for any erector. These will not only save you time but provide a solid base for your metal building assembly training program.

Typically, contractors and erectors are on their own when it comes to creating a training program for their employees. We cobble together content from different sources and customize it for our employees. The member’s-only area of our website has links and copies of training materials developed by manufacturers, suppliers, as well as fellow contractors and erectors. I recommend you look there first before recreating any wheels.

What Our Industry Really Needs Is a Standardized Approach to Metal Building Assembly Training

The MBCEA and our sister organization, the Metal Buildings Institute (MBI), are in talks with the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER) to develop a complete metal building curriculum. This initiative is an investment in our collective future. We hope that it will become the gold standard for training field erectors; that it will be taught in tech schools and craft centers; and it will be used to craft apprenticeship programs that will help level the playing field in our industry.

Today’s young people learn differently. They have different expectations of what a job entails. We need to meet their needs while also creating the next generation of contractors and erectors trained to our exacting standards. Our training initiative seeks to create a new learning paradigm; one that does not rely on textbooks and long videos but breaks processes down into covered tasks, bite-sized chunks that can be learned quickly and repeated as necessary.

Our goal for this project is to develop training that can be delivered anywhere in short bursts. Contractors and erectors will be able to tailor their training to the specific needs of their organization. They may elect to put all or just certain employees through the full program; they may choose to review a covered task on the job site before commencing work.

This commitment to safety and training is what sets members of the MBCEA apart. It is also our best chance to tackle the labor shortage and attract new workers to our industry.

We have already begun the process of forming committees, project teams and subject matter experts. This will be a herculean effort and I hope many of you will lend your expertise, talents and resources. We will continue to update and share information about this initiative in our monthly newsletter and direct emails. We will post ways in which you can contribute. If you are not currently receiving our newsletter, please text MBCEA to 22828 to join our mailing list.

Now For the Fun Part!

Our national conference continues to be the premier source for peer-to-peer learning and networking. This year’s event will be held in Tucson, Ariz., from April 27 to 29, and will offer erector-led training and informative sessions on temporary bracing and AC478. This is the perfect opportunity to combine work with play. Bring a few key members of your team and think of it as a strategic retreat and investment in training. Bring the family and sneak in a few vacation days. Connect with colleagues. Learn from the best. Recharge your batteries. Whatever it takes to make it work for you, just do it. After two years of not seeing each other in person, this is sure to be a blow-out event.

At this writing we are still nailing down the schedule but fan favorites Colorado Springs, Colo.-based S-5! CEO and founder Rob Haddock and MBCEA’s general counsel, Josh Quinter of Offit Kurman are back! Haddock will speak on integration of solar on metal roofs, and Quinter will lead a session on recruiting and retaining top talent.

We will host two roundtables: one exclusive to contractors and erectors and the other a joint session with the manufacturers. New this year will be product-specific training. Check the website for details. It is not too late to register, but time is running out. Book your trip today!


Jennifer Heimburger has been with Heimburger Construction Inc. since 1999. Her father, Bob Heimburger, started the family business in 1978. HCI has been affiliated with Butler Manufacturing since its inception. Both Jennifer and Bob have served on Butler's advisory council, and Jennifer was the first female chairman in 2016. HCI achieved the AC478 accreditation in 2021 and strongly supports the efforts of the MBCEA to help other erectors attain accreditation.