AGMT Glazier Certification Program Begins Offering Remote Online Testing

Formerly offered only in a classroom setting, the Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (AGMT) Program’s test for glazier certification is now available through a remote proctoring platform. Program managers say this will permit candidates to complete the test from their own home or glazing shop.

AGMT has partnered with BTL Surpass Inc., a global testing agency with U.S. operations based in Exton, Pa., to allow the use of a dual camera technology for administering the exam. Candidates are able to choose a time-slot between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., six days a week. Once registered, they log onto Surpass at their chosen appointment time and receive the exam with monitoring by Surpass. Surpass personnel utilize screen-sharing and the candidate’s computer webcam and mobile device camera to verify security of the entire test delivery.

AGMT performed successful beta-testing of the new platform in May 2020 and rolled out the new technology on June 27.

In order to obtain certification, glazier candidates must take a 125-question, written exam and a hands-on, performance-based exam using storefront, curtainwall and sealant application test rigs. Offering the written exam remotely allows candidates to complete the written test in advance of scheduling the in-person, hands-on exam.

The hands-on test has been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 outbreak.

“Although the nature of the hands-on test allows for significant social-distancing, candidate safety is our main priority,” says Ben Beeler, AGMT program manager.

CCI: Contractor Confidence Takes Major Hit in Q2 2020 Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Contractor confidence took a major hit in the second quarter of 2020 due to effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commercial Construction Index (CCI), released quarterly by USG Corp. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, plummeted 18 points to 56, the largest quarterly decline since the index’s launch in 2017.

The data in the report is from a Q2 2020 survey conducted only from April 4-27, 2020. More than half of respondents are prime contractors and 46% are trade (specialty) contractors, which includes glazing contractors.

The key drivers of contractor confidence, backlog, new business and revenue, all experienced drops in the second quarter. Contractors’ confidence in the ability of the market to provide new business in the next year has dropped 26 points to 50, demonstrating concern about the pipeline of work. Revenue numbers also dropped 26 points to 44 as many contractors see projects deferred, canceled or temporarily shut down. However, the ratio of average current and ideal backlogs only dropped three points to 73.

What to Know About “Paid in Full” Checks

Many jobs were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, as the economy opens back up, it’s possible there could be an increase in price disputes. Glazing contractors should be aware that cashing a check marked “payment in full” could prevent them from making a claim for a disputed, unpaid balance in the future.

Patrick Barthet, founder of the Barthet Firm, wrote in a blog post for The Lien Zone that cashing a check marked “payment in full,” may mean that the glazing subcontractor cannot make a claim for an unpaid, disputed balance. This is especially true when the notation is written on the back of the check above the endorsement line and the check is accompanied by a letter explaining why the balance has been paid in full. It also depends, in part, upon the state in which the dispute takes place.

Barthet says cashing the check under such circumstances could be construed by a judge as “a complete discharge of a given obligation” since the subcontractor would have been aware of the client’s intent and, despite disputing the amount owed, cashed the check anyway.

Crossing out the “payment in full” notation may work in some cases, explains Barthet, but some courts may argue that doing so must be agreed to by both parties.

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