Fulton Sun | Don Norfleet | March 10, 2012

Free tours of two Fulton union training facilities were offered Saturday as part of "The Way We Worked" Smithsonian exhibition at the National Churchill Museum in Fulton.

Tours of the Sheet Metal Workers Local 36 school at 101 Industrial Dr. were conducted by Russ Unger, apprenticeship coordinator, at the school.

Unger said union apprentices undergo five years of a combination of on-the-job training along with classroom and work practice training at the school before they become a journeyman sheet metal worker. Workers seeking the certification travel from central and north Missouri to the union training facility in Fulton.

Even after receiving journeyman certification, sheet metal union members must receive updated skill and technology training every six months at the school in order to maintain certification from the American Welding Society.

Unger said welders now comprise about one-third of sheet metal workers and welding continues to play a larger role in modern sheet metal fabrication.

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“Leave the past to history especially as I propose to write that history myself.”

Winston S. Churchill