The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) held a coatings and glazing forum last week at its headquarters in Hanover, Maryland to equip glaziers with the tools they need to succeed. While the group has organized regional events in the past, this is the first on a national level. Attendees came from all over the northeast and some from the west coast.
Glaziers started the day with sessions offering AIA continuing education credits, including “What Every Architect Should Know About Silicone Sealants,” presented by Dow. Next, AMS staff detailed the details of its North American Contractor Certification (NACC) program.
“This is a company that makes the decision to have standardized systems in place,” said Jeff Dalaba, NACC Program Administrator and Director of Program Development at AMS.
Dalaba talked about the importance of having quality management systems and a quality manager to follow up and how crucial it is to find the root cause of a problem.
“If your employees catch things because it’s in their head, what happens when they’re away for a day,” Dalaba said. “A quality management system helps with all of this.”
Glaziers in attendance who participated in the program shared how it helped rebuild their project management processes from the ground up.
“When we joined, we went from the person answering the phone all the way up,” said Jeff Willett, president of Woodbridge Glass.
If there is a problem on the ground, for example, it takes time and costs money. “Decide to do all the tests before entering the field,” Dalaba said. “You only install once.”
Ben Beeler, CTO of NACC, explained that companies often don’t set expectations. “The NACC requires that these be defined,” he said. “You have to measure the quality. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
Attendees had the opportunity to tour the training center during a lunch break and Matt Fox, specialist at the International Finishing Trades Institute, highlighted the many tools available. This includes the use of oculus technology and a virtual welder, which helps interest high school students in a career path in glazing.
The facility includes 10 welding booths and students can get certified and practice attaching curtain wall systems.
“We want to make sure our workforce is the most skilled,” Fox said. “And every job in glass is different, so ongoing training is very important.”
Jim Williams, IUPAT’s general president, was delighted to host the event, which he described as an introduction to who the group is and a welcome to its national training center. “If we can do your best, we can achieve great things for workers,” he said.
He referred to the government’s ten-year infrastructure plan, which will require glaziers to be ready. “It’s time for us to get to work and start impacting lives.”
IUPAT ended the day on a high note – a workforce development roundtable that included representatives from the Department of Labour, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency. environment. “Workers leave because they are looking for better [jobs]said Kaitlan Walker Mooney, representing the Good Jobs Initiative. The group talked about everything from initiatives to increasing the number of women in trades to ensuring that “we leave no one behind”.