The BEC and GANA conferences are fast approaching (2/21 – 2/23 and 3/1 – 3/5, respectively). Two issues affecting glazing subcontractors are going to be discussed at length during the BEC Technical Committee Sunday afternoon. If you’re a glazing subcontractor and there’s any way you can be in Vegas early enough to attend, we’d love to have your input. The issues: converting the Blue Print Reading Estimating Course to an online offering, and how to implement what is now being referred to as a “Glazing Education Program” focusing on training new people coming into the glazing business.
First, the Blueprint Reading and Estimating Course (which is getting a name change to Glass and Glazing Estimating Essentials) has been updated, and during reviews it was suggested that the manual be upgraded to an online learning tool instead of today’s hard-copy course. Doing it more interactively over the web makes perfect sense. Instantaneous grading on questions at the end of lessons is much more efficient than the current, “complete and submit the answer sheet before you get a grade” method. It seems like it’s a no-brainer to make these changes.
But like all good upgrades, it comes with a cost (a quite substantial one), which is not currently budgeted within GANA. That’s what BEC has to discuss before presenting GANA with the proposal to go ahead with the modification or not. Any comments from people who have used the manual and would like to weigh in on that, please send me your thoughts.
The other issue that’s coming more into focus is certification for glaziers, either as a company or individual basis. For companies, the “North American Contractor Certification Program for Architectural Glass and Metal Contractors (NACC) has been created with input and guidance from glazing and construction industry experts. It is intended to provide certification recognition as a means of creating a baseline for competency, business practices, and adherence to industry-accepted guidelines for glazing contractors participating in the program.”
NACC also does certification for WDMA and IGMA member manufacturers, and some others. They’re looking at the glazing industry to establish baselines for financial stability, safety practices, reputation for quality, contract compliance and others.
On a personal level, AAMA has recently established a “FenestrationMasters™” program, which “offers professional certification and education that covers the full breadth of the fenestration industry, including performance standards, products and materials, test methods and code requirements.” The online program is intended for the framing side of the fenestration industry, looking at codes, metal finishes, etc.
And, GANA is endeavoring to establish an education program of its own for the glazing in windows and curtain walls. The plan is to include a review of existing GANA materials, such as the Glazing, Sealant, and Project Manager Manuals, and to include current GIBs and tribal knowledge – essentially, a way to disseminate information to the industry’s newcomers. It’s conceivable the Glazing Estimating Essentials will be part of that program, as well. The exact curriculum and course materials have yet to be established, so now’s a perfect time to add your thoughts regarding the course’s form and topics.
If there’s a need within your company for these types of programs, we need to hear from you. Getting new people into the industry is always going to be one of many challenges any organization faces. How those people are trained, and how these GANA programs can make that a bit easier, we would like to hear from the end users if such undertakings are worth the effort. Please make your thoughts known. It is your industry; it’s how we all have chosen to make a living, but it’s also a chance to have an influence on how the industry heads into the future.