Program Provides Unitized Curtainwall Assembly Training for Apprentices

A partnership between Phoenix-based Ironworkers Local 75 and Enclos Corp. helped mitigate local workforce challenges and provide hands-on unitized curtainwall assembly training for apprentices.

The partnership with Enclos stems from shop superintendent Joe Welch, who approached Local 75 business manager Jason Sangster and business agent Mike Ciesielksi with an idea to employ apprentices at Enclos’ Phoenix assembly facility.

Mike Padgett, Enclos’ executive vice president of field operations, says the partnership was a response to a lack of worker availability in the Phoenix area, as candidates were difficult to recruit. Welch, who has more than 30 years in the glazing and curtainwall industry, adds that apprentices were a great solution to finding capable workers.

“I had a relationship with different temp agencies in town, but they weren’t supplying me with quality people who were career-minded,” he says. “Typically, with apprentices knowing that they have a career future, they have a better work ethic and attendance.”

Local 75 was chartered in 1910 and has more than 1,000 active members and retirees. Its workers often tackle a variety of challenges, including structural, reinforcing, ornamental, rigging and machinery-moving, or welding and burning.

The unitized curtainwall assembly training is in-depth, says Sangster. He explains that the apprentices are hands-on with the curtainwall from start to finish. The work includes assembling a unitized curtainwall frame assembly, learning proper joiner caulking and structural sealant, using 3D models and shop drawings to build units, water testing units, packing and bunking unitized curtainwall units in sequence, shipping and receiving, and running Exacta blend pumps.

“They build the units,” he says. “This gives the apprentices the ability to go out and learn about glass right away. They don’t need tools because [Enclos] provides the tools. A lot of these guys come in, and they don’t have the money to buy an extra set of ironworking tools on top of paying initiation. This allows them to go out there and make some money, purchase tools and get ready for big jobs.”

Sangster adds that the apprentices filter through the facility until they’re about halfway through the program. They will then move on to an actual jobsite.

“It does work well,” he says. “You can take people unsure about the work and introduce it to them. They figure out whether they want to be there or not.”

The goal of the partnership is to develop local ironworkers for work in the Phoenix market. Padgett says that as with all of Enclos’ trade partners, the company aims “to recruit and train the future tradespersons in our industry.”

The curtainwall training is expected to continue for “quite some time,” says Welch. Enclos plans to keep the facility open despite its original intent for only one project. The apprentices and Enclos are currently working on an assembly for a hospital in California, followed by a project for the San Diego airport.

“We’re pretty well stacked up right now,” says Welch.

The Training Includes:

• Assembling a unitized curtainwall frame assembly
• Learning proper joiner caulking and structural sealant
• Using 3D models and shop drawings to build units
• Water test units
• Packing and bunking unitized curtainwall units in sequence
• Shipping and receiving
• Running Exacta blend pumps

CGCA Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary with ‘Night of Legends’ Gala

The Colorado Glazing Contractors Association (CGCA), co-sponsor of Glass Expo Rocky Mountain™ ’23, celebrated its 30th anniversary on Jan. 18, 2023, with its “Night of Legends” gala. The event took place in Aurora, Colo., and recognized some of its volunteer members who have left a lasting legacy. “This group has a lot to be proud of for its longevity,” says CGCA president Chris Medina. “I have never seen an organization that has been able to keep up its programs for as long as it has. It’s a testament to its board members.”

The CGCA began by recognizing its legends for their volunteerism to the association and the legacy they left behind. The newest CGCA Legends are former association presidents Joel Watson, who is retired from Harmon, and Rick Ryan, retired from El Paso Glass, along with former treasurer Les Law, previously with Metropolitan Glass, and former vice president Carle Abernathy, who is still working in the industry.

Additionally, the CGCA presented its Lifetime Achievement award posthumously to Don Reschke, who passed away in 2021. His wife, Maria, accepted the award in his honor.

“Don was an extraordinary person,” says Maria. “I miss him so much, and I know that many people miss him too. All of us who loved him know that he is still here in our hearts because love is eternal. I want to say thank you for this honor.”

The CGCA also awarded the People’s Choice Industry Legend award to Lou Sigman with Horizon Glass.

The night concluded with a retirement announcement from CGCA executive director Rebecca Graves.

“Rebecca is the reason why the CGCA has held on for more than 30 years,” says Medina. Graves will retire next year.

AGMT Glazier Certifications Double in 2022

Officials from the Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (AGMT) program announced that they have certified 681 glaziers in 2022, doubling the number from 2021. Program officials add that they have certified 1,247 glaziers since 2019. The program’s 1,000th glazier was certified in September 2022.

The AGMT program is North America’s only American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited, third-party assessment of an experienced glazier’s knowledge and abilities.

“The AGMT program has reached its operational stride,” says program administrator Scott Kennett. “We have the infrastructure and personnel to meet market demand, which has been steadily increasing. AGMT is established, it’s here to stay and we’re ready and enthusiastic to move into the new year.”

AGMT officials say that the program expanded in 2022. It added 10 office and support team members and nine traveling examiners. The organization’s growth enabled it to hold testing events in 21 cities in 22 states plus Canada. AGMT administered 41 written, knowledge-based tests and conducted 50 hands-on, performance-based tests in 2022. Over 750 candidates participated in the testing.

Program administrators anticipate certifications for 2023 to be on pace or greater than those of 2022.

“Along with the North American Contractor Certification, the AGMT program ensures quality glazing installations,” says program administrator Jeff Dalaba. “The growth of the AGMT program and continued willingness to undergo rigorous testing shows how glaziers across the continent are making a commitment to construction quality.”

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