New Elcometer Building At NACE International Helps Meet Growing Workforce Needs

June 2009 Vol. 236 No. 6

Lew Bullion, Senior Editor

Classes in corrosion control for pipelines and other industries are filled to capacity into the first quarter of 2010 at the NACE International training center in west Houston.

The center was expanded in January with the opening of a free-standing structure – The Elcometer Building – dedicated to corrosion training.

According to Tony Keane, executive director, NACE International, the center is intended to “develop the next generation of skilled workers. We will prepare them for a comprehensive career in corrosion and help open the doors for job opportunities and greater earning potential.”

Cliff Johnson, director of public affairs for NACE, said the new Elcometer Building, along with the earlier classroom, can accommodate more than 3,000 students per year attending more than 125 timely courses in corrosion identification, prevention and mitigation. The courses are crafted for a span of skill levels, ranging from the high school graduate (or equivalent) to a senior engineer.

The facility combines classroom instruction with practical, hands-on field work to enable students to experience conditions in a real-world environment and to prove their mastery of the subjects. The center is attracting students from across the United States and elsewhere. It is under the leadership of Mike Moss, senior director, education and web services, for NACE International.

The 15,000-square-foot facility features tools such as a cathodic protection test field with buried, electrified pipelines; a coatings lab with blast and spray booths; a virtual spray booth for classroom-based applicator training; an equipment preparation area; and industrial structures that will prepare students for job-site situations.

The new building is the fruit of a capital campaign launched in 2007 by NACE International and the NACE Foundation. Contributions and material donations were received from individuals and corporations including American Innovations, Bass Engineering, Carboline, Champion Technologies, ConocoPhillips, Elaine Byerley, Elcometer, Sherwin Williams and Tinker & Rasor.

Executive Director Keane says the organization’s members have developed more than 200 standards used in the field of corrosion prevention and mitigation. He said students who complete the organization’s courses gain “an understanding of the training applications as well as the standards and regulations associated with each. With this knowledge, NACE-certified individuals are more qualified.”

Education Director Mike Moss says, “The increased need for trained professionals to assess the safety and viability of critical structures and assets has become a serious challenge. To meet this need, NACE will offer more than 425 courses in 20 countries to more than 8,500 students during 2009.”

NACE lays claim to the position of world leadership in providing training. The organization points out that it offers single and multi-stage courses leading to certification in cathodic protection, coating inspection and internal corrosion as well as generalist, specialist and operators programs. Moss says no traditional academic system today offers such a range of professional or vocational training in the corrosion field.

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