ModularDesign+ Launches Equity-Focused Welding Program

We are thrilled to announce the most recent development in our modular prefabrication process. Modular Design+ (MD+), a full-service, modular prefabrication and construction firm located in DFW, TX, has launched our “Modular Welding Program.” This program will provide our clients with more flexibility and stronger, taller structures (up to 20-stories) if desired. The program seeks to be a diverse and equitable workforce, encouraging all who are interested in receiving a welding certification to apply. A worker-led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council meets monthly and advises on promoting those from the program into larger roles within the MD+ company.

The benefits of welding in modular construction

It’s important to know (and ask) how modular companies actually fabricate their structures. Most modular companies in the industry use wood for their structures while MD+ uses a hybrid HSS and Cold-Formed Steel structure. With this type of construction, you have two methods in assembling your structural walls and floors: screwed or welded connection. MD+ wanted better quality structures and also desired to provide clients with the ultimate flexibility that a welded system offers. MD+ evaluates each project to utilize the best connection for the requirements needed for each specific project. That means sometimes we do a simple screwed connection, sometimes a welded connection, and then sometimes a hybrid connection of both.

Why our welding program is the best in the business

We hired Ernest D. Levert Sr. to develop our Modular Welding Program, a pioneer and industry leader. Levert joined Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Division in Dallas, TX in 1986 for projects under NASA and U.S. Department of Defense. In 1996, he was promoted to Senior Staff Manufacturing Engineer and for the past 30+ years Ernest has worked on projects including the International Space Station, multiple launch rocket systems, army tactical missile systems, and space shuttles. In 2002, Levert became the first African American to become the president of the American Welding Society (AWS).

Mr. Levert helped certify the MD+ welding procedures in accordance with AWS D1.1 and Structural Welding Code AWS D1.3. These standards eliminate delays in repair work during fabrication, or worse, structural failure at the job site on the final product. These standards include specifications to the welding standard, welding process, type of weld, weld preparation, pre-and post-heat requirements, weld positions, speeds, poarity and much more. He also set up an onsite testing laboratory so MD+ can internally test future hires’ welding capabilities to see if they meet our required standards.

Diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront

MD+ is seeking a diverse workforce and has taken big steps to ensure all races and genders are treated with respect and have a clear growth path within the company.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2026, the amount of women welders joining the workforce will grow approximately 6% over reported 2016 numbers. In 2016, women made up only 4% of welders working in the country, which was unchanged from the percentage reported in 2010. MD+ is actively seeking not only women welders, but any women who are interested in the construction industry and is thrilled to have fabrication welder, Farryn Giles, on the team. Farryn is an African American female welder which is even a smaller percentage of the women welders in the industry.

“I’m excited for real advancement opportunities here at MD+ and I love the respect I get here as a woman welder from the guys.”
– Farryn Giles (Fabrication Welder)

A worker-lead Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council was established to ensure conversations around this important topic can be addressed at every turn. The DEI Council is led by Angus Blackhawk, a QA/QC manager and a Native American. The DEI Council also advises management on who to promote from within, making sure employees with exceptional skills are seen and heard and can grow within the MD+ company.