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Workforce Development & Training

Addressing Labor Shortages through Outreach

Labor is the number one pain point for industry companies. In the recent Thirsty Thursday webinar, “Recruitment Resources for Installers,” hosted by the National Glass Association, Jodi Martinez, vice president of AllStar Glass and NGA board member, and Jenni Chase, vice president of workforce…

"Get to the Chopper," or Fatherly Wisdom from the Terminator

With one of my sons finishing up his freshman year of college and another graduating from high school, the father in me always looks to provide wisdom and guidance. Technical Glass Products (TGP) also has a new sales team member starting who is eager and ready to learn. “Have a clear vision” can…

Recruiting Young Talent in the Glass Industry

How glass companies and schools are working together for workforce development.

Tackling the Industry’s Biggest Challenge: Labor

As part of its new workforce development initiative, NGA has developed a free downloadable guide for companies: A Guide to Recruiting at High School Career Fairs. This how-to guide is available in the NGA store, along with stickers and postcards designed to attract student attention to the trade. 

Destigmatizing Mental Health Discussions

Construction workers have the second highest suicide rate of any industry, and five times more people die of suicide in construction than other construction occupational fatalities combined. GlassBuild America's Main Stage welcomed a panel of experts in mental health to discuss the state of mental…

Crawford-Tracey Corp Offers Course on Curtain Wall System Design

Crawford-Tracey’s new AIA-approved continuing education course offers architects an easy-to-follow overview of designing curtain wall systems.

Tackling Glass and Glazing’s Technical Challenges

As glass and glazing grow increasingly sophisticated, ensuring next-gen professionals maintain technical expertise will be critical.

Children’s Book Focuses on the Quality of the Trades

“Grit Leads to Greatness” is a children’s book written by duo Jenny Kerr Schroen and Chris Eccleston of Delmarva Veteran Builders.

Building the Future: Students Explore the Diverse World of Construction Trades

The Associated Builders and Contractors—Inland Pacific Chapter (ABC—IPC) Trades Night event, held Oct. 12, 2023, at Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington, brought together more than 40 employers, educators and training partners to offer students and parents a first-hand look at construction…

All Weather Architectural Aluminum Launches Apprenticeship Program

All Weather Architectural Aluminum has graduated its first five apprentices from the company’s inaugural apprenticeship program.

Staying Focused on Fabrication Essentials

The performance bar for commercial glass and glazing is always high, and it’s vital to minimize inconsistency during fabrication and installation.

Recruiting and Retaining Gen Z

As companies nationwide continue to struggle with finding skilled labor, it is more important than ever to recruit and retain young professionals, which now includes Gen Z.

‘Biz Kidz’ Visit Glass Manufacturer, Learn About Entrepreneurship

Children aged 7 to 18 had the opportunity to learn about glass manufacturing and overall entrepreneurship during a tour of MY Shower Door / D3 Glass' facility in Fort Myers, Florida. 

Glass Cast Episode 5

Dave Ferrett, Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems, discusses recent project challenges.

Glass Cast Episode 4

Matt Kamper of Woodbridge Glass talks about a recent challenge where the glazing team came into conflict with the design team over plans for the curtain wall system.

Skilled Trades Leaders Unite on Labor Crisis

Leaders across the construction, retail and skilled trades industries have teamed up to create the Skilled Trades Advisory Council to combat the crisis facing skilled labor in North America.

Glass Cast Episode 3

Taylor Anderson talks about the skilled labor shortage and the comprehensive onboarding process at her company, Anderson Aluminum as part of the BEC Conference panel, Generational and Mentorship Gaps.

As Technology Rises, Does Our Happiness Fall?

Technology has provided countless benefits, but concerns about its impact on our health are growing. Oversaturation can lead to stress and an inability to unplug, which is unhelpful for work and for life.

Glass Cast Episode 2

This episode features Joey Aragon, director of operations, Aragon Construction Inc., discussing how his company established and refined a mentorship program.

Elevating a New Generation of Girls in Glass

NAWIC recently hosted 70 teenage girls for a free weeklong learning program offering a hands-on approach to construction careers. This year's curriculum also included education about glass and glazing, courtesy of NAWIC board member Kristie Rehberger, also the general manager of A Glasco Inc.

Five Ways to Address Generational and Mentorship Gaps

How do you make time to train and mentor new employees? How do you incentivize workers to stay? Is the next generation ready to take the reins?  

Supporting a smart, skilled workforce

BLS employment numbers suggest that manufacturing and specialty contractors are adding employees. Employers can look to a variety of glass industry education resources to train these new workers.

NGA Publishes GANA Glazing Manual, International Year of Glass Edition

Recognized as the definitive source of information in the glass and glazing industry, the manual describes primary and fabricated glass products, quality standards, design considerations, general and specific glazing guidelines and glazing in hazardous locations.

Roto North America Partners with Transition Academy on Internships

Roto North America has partnered with a Connecticut-based community program that helps provide local internships to students with intellectual and developmental differences.

With Renewed Focus on Recruitment and Retention, Investing in Training is Key

The labor shortage continues, and unemployment is at a historic low. Glass industry companies can look to apprenticeship and training programs to attract the talent they need.

The Ultimate Team Sport

Construction and manufacturing, like team sports, benefit when employees work as a team. Working together towards a goal requires us to understand both our individual and collective perceptions and assumptions.

The Musings of a Very Pregnant Fenestration Industry Worker

As I prepare for the arrival of my daughter, I'm thinking through how we can care for and support parents, inside and outside the workplace.

Showing What’s Possible

Mother-daughter glazing team Casey Weir and Anna Wright talk with Andrew Haring about their experiences in the industry, the need to bring more women into glazing, and more. 

Starting the Conversation on Mental Health in Construction

The unique challenges the construction industry faces, and how employers and colleagues can help.

Raising Awareness of the Glazing Trade

When I attended Trades Night, an event designed to spread awareness about construction trades to high school students, I found career professionals ready to demo the most exciting parts of their profession.

Expert Panel to Host Virtual Lunch and Learn, Focusing on Heat Safety

Magid, a manufacturer of personal protective equipment innovations, announced in mid-March that it will host a Virtual Lunch & Learn with the National Heat Safety Coalition at noon CST on April 6, 2022 online.

Construction Workers See Biggest Pay Bump in Over 40 Years

Ripple effects of the Baby Boomer generation retiring, compounded by a sizzling hot housing and labor market, drove average pay for non-managerial construction laborers up six percent from the same time in 2021, according to preliminary wage survey data released in February by the U.S. Bureau of…

Relearning Best Practices in a Changed Landscape

According to NPR reporting, one million fewer students are in college than before the pandemic began. How has the education landscape shifted, and how will this trend impact students’ futures? Either way, how are we thinking, evaluating and taking action to support the current and future work needs…

Women in the Fenestration Industry

When I joined the National Fenestration Rating Council as document coordinator in 2009, it was my first job in the building environment. And, of course, when I attended my first NFRC meeting, it was hard to miss the demographic make-up of attendees—a lot of men. There may be some positive news,…

Forman Ford Becomes First Iowa Glazing Contractor to Earn North American Contractor Certification

Forman Ford, a Midwest glazing contractor headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, became the first in the state to earn North American Contractor Certification.

Soft Tech Launches Second Level of Academy

Soft Tech launched the second level of its Soft Tech Academy.

What Can Help with Labor and Supply Challenges?

What’s keeping the glass industry up at night? Exhibitors, attendees and speakers at GlassBuild America all pointed to two major challenges: the ongoing labor shortage and pandemic-related supply chain constraints.

Glazier jobsite photos

Glaziers tackle incredible challenges with a remarkable building material, sometimes at extraordinary heights. We asked glaziers to submit jobsite photos and selfies to be included on this wall, and they responded with amazing work!

Why Glazing? Two Glaziers Give Their Reasons

October is Careers in Construction Month, an initiative designed to increase public awareness of construction careers. To spotlight glass industry professionals, NGA staff spoke with two glaziers about what they love about the job. Here’s what they said.

Safety Demonstration Offers Active Shooter Training at FGIA Hybrid Fall Conference

In-person participants at the 2021 Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance Hybrid Fall Conference learned strategies and techniques for ways to disarm active shooters in a presentation and active workshop from Sentinel Security Group, which was sponsored by the FGIA Fenestration Safety Committee.

Workforce Development: New Hire Toolkit

New hires who know the rules, expectations, and opportunities at your company are more likely to become successful team members. To help in the onboarding process, NGA’s New Hire Toolkit contains resources you need to set your new employees up for success. 

Glaziers, Send Us Your Jobsite Selfies

Glaziers, you see the most amazing things on the jobsite. You tackle incredible challenges with a remarkable building material, sometimes at extraordinary heights. Show off your work in Glass Magazine!

How to Build a Strong Company Culture

A successful culture is one where all employees have the opportunity and the tools necessary to be their best selves within their role. From there, organizational success is more likely to follow, no matter the challenges ahead.

Speak to the Next Generation of Manufacturers

How can manufacturers effectively reach young people and recruit them to the industry? This is a challenge the Manufacturing Institute has been working to address through Manufacturing Day, held annually on the first Friday in October. 

Two Simple, but Not Easy, Priorities

Two related leadership priorities can help companies to recruit and retain employees, improve engagement and profitability, and keep workers safe: one, promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace; and two, address racism and discriminatory practices on the job.

Training the Next Generation

Finding and keeping skilled labor is the top challenge facing U.S. glazing contractors. In response, a growing number of companies and industry organizations are looking to apprenticeship programs to bridge the skills gap and train the next generation.

How to Support Women Working in the Pandemic

Recruiting and retaining a more gender-diverse workforce has been a longtime concern for the glass industry. Now, it is possible the gains that have been made could be threatened by the pandemic.  

Diversify Your Workforce

An industry panel discusses how companies can examine their current workforce and take steps to encourage diversity, inclusiveness and more open communication in the workplace.

GLAAS INC. Sets Women Up for Success in Glazing

In response to the ongoing glass industry labor shortage, Australia’s glass industry association, GLAAS Inc.,  developed a program to recruit and train women for careers in glazing.

The Best Career Advice I’ve Heard as a Construction Industry Professional

This year, I had the opportunity to participate in a leadership conference—and yes, it happened to be geared towards women working the construction industry. However, I would say that the key takeaways I got from this two-day conference and networking event would benefit not just women, but anybody…

Insights on Hiring

Since Glass Magazine began covering the post-Recession labor shortage in 2014, a similar theme has been clear throughout: the process of recruiting and retaining employees is constant and ever-changing. Every aspect of the process—from recruitment tactics to branding to labor pools to internal…

Labor and Automation

  Related Reading | Labor and Automation: How automation and technology make people less necessary, more important Technology may be enticing and a solution to some labor woes. However, industry companies are faced with many challenges when considering technology investment. Often at the top…

Online Recruitment

Social media is a powerful recruiting tool. It is estimated that upwards of 80 percent of companies currently use social media platforms when recruiting prospective employees. While social media provides information and exposure for those looking to hire and those looking for jobs, the…

Building Better Business

In the article Investing in the #1 Asset, sources shared insights on how strong personnel relationships build better businesses. Part of the relationship equation relies on how employees see the company they work for. Here, brand awareness comes into play as part of the personnel equation, as does…

Investing in the #1 Asset

Business leaders often say people are their number one asset. People make business run. The industry is feeling this need for people now more than ever as demand is up, but the labor shortage and struggle to keep top-quality employees continues.  Additional resources to download 5…

Temp Workers

When using temporary labor from staffing companies or labor pools, clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the primary employer and the host employer. Not doing so could result in a joint-employer status and thus joint liabilities. Like many trades, glass and glazing companies find…

A Good Employee is Hard to Find

Or should that be, “A good employee is hard to keep”? I am pretty sure every employer in our industry has run into the same HR issue of trying to figure out where to find good talent and dealing with the inevitable question of how to keep these assets productive in their own company, and not in…

The Discussion: Experience vs. Inexperience

“John. Wait, stop right there.” “What?” “Stop right there and go back to that prior statement.” “What statement?” “The one where you mentioned lack of experience in the supply chain; I think it may be the biggest issue of them all as to why so many projects take longer, and require more work…

Creating a Culture of Service

Limited labor has been a core issue for the glass industry for years. Recruitment, training and retention are at the heart of a company’s concerns, as evidenced by Glass Magazine’s Workforce Development series, which has shone a light on these issues. While creating a great company culture is…

Is the Glass Industry Ready to Lean In?

Last November, I attended the Women in Design & Construction Conference. Not only were the talks and breakout sessions interesting and relevant, but the camaraderie and energy I experienced from being around dynamic, smart and talented women is something I won’t soon forget. One of the talks…

Build Better Partnerships

Partnerships result in a well-defined relationship between people that involves close cooperation, defined roles and responsibilities, and rights for all parties involved. Partnerships stand for two or more people being mutually bound together, working to achieve a common goal, through both the…

How to Remain Competitive in the Face of the Skilled Labor Shortage

Construction on the new C.R. Laurence manufacturing and distribution facility in Los Angeles. The project features CRL-U.S. Aluminum Entrances and Window Wall, with installation by Artesia Glass.  The glazing industry is experiencing a pervasive dilemma: a growing market with not enough skilled…

Introduction to Estimating

For a contract glazing firm, a bid estimate can make or break a project. An estimate that is too high can cost a bidder the job, while one that is too low or omits elements of a job can cut into margins and affect overall company profitability.  “If a project is underbid, all subcontractors, not…

Grassroots Approach

Read more articles about Workforce Development at The problem is clear: the construction industry is booming at a time when labor is scarce. The causes are just as well-known: experienced workers are retiring faster than new hires can fill jobs, and skills are going…

Diagnosing a Bad Business Culture

“Business cultures eat business strategies for breakfast!” I heard this quote from a business consultant during a recent meeting. So often, organizations will adopt a new strategy only to quickly abandon it if goals aren’t met. The truth of the situation is that the strategy wasn’t properly…

Recruiting Women to the Glass Industry: An Emerging Professional’s Perspective

My company has been a sponsor for the Women in Design & Construction event, a leadership conference for women—of all roles, fields and career stages—within the construction industry. My experience at these conferences made me reflect more on women in the workplace. With women making up 57…

Plant Safety 101

Sources: from the National Glass Association; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Glass Safety Awareness Council, Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance; Vitro Architectural Glass. Glass plants can be dangerous places to work. They combine the hazards of any…

Set Up for Success

A group of new Viracon employees being taught how to safely handle and lift glass.     Onboarding, or the process of preparing new employees for job success, is vital for employee integration and retention. According to a 2007 study by the Wynhurst Group, when employees go through structured…

10 Most Common Problems in the Workplace

My recent column addressed the importance of employee development and identified the 10 most common problems in the work environment that hinder that development and a company’s overall success. This column presents those 10 problems and provides solutions to each. 1. Inadequate job…

The Multi-Generation Workplace

If you are like most business leaders, you’ve no doubt noticed some trends in the way employees behave in recent years—too much entitlement, not enough loyalty, no work ethic and so forth. I challenge you to consider that perhaps these are not negative trends, just different ones. To better…

Reinvest in Employee Development and Work Environment

I recently returned to the auto dealership where I bought a pickup truck 17 years ago, motivated by the great initial experience. Sadly, my most recent experience was terrible. The salesperson took my order for the truck and then moved to California without telling anyone. No one called from the…

Fired Up: Working with design teams in the face of labor challenges

Hi, David Vermeulen here with TGP. I’ll be taking over the Fired Up blog for Jeff Razwick, and am looking forward to discussing our industry with you in the coming months. Thanks for lending me valuable minutes out of your day. There’s been a lot of talk about how the manufacturing and labor…

Creative Recruitment

Ace Glass leads attend a Spider Swing Stage training with sales rep John VanNatta. The company hires and trains new employees from multiple creative channels, including prison transition programs. Photo courtesy of Ace Glass. Although the worker shortage continues to be a primary…

Tips for Transparency

Management and ownership transparency improves operations, boosts employee satisfaction and provides an enormous amount of good for the bottom line. A survey conducted by the TINYpulse Company of over 40,000 employees from multiple industries found that transparency represents the leading factor…

Women in Construction

Economic news in the United States has been positive throughout 2016, including within the construction industry. However, many within the industry, including those in glass and glazing, continue to face one major challenge that could hinder recovery: a worker shortage. In a CMD webinar, “…

Underrepresented Groups Offer Opportunity to Combat Labor Shortage

In the CMD iSqFt webinar, “Construction 2016: How Sustainable is the Construction Economic Recovery?” several leading construction economists addressed the challenges of the labor shortage in construction and manufacturing. To combat the shortage of skilled labor, economists noted opportunities in…

Hiring Tips to Navigate Labor Shortage Pitfalls

Business is up across the glass industry, and as business picks up, more labor is needed to meet demand. However, glass companies from all parts of the industry have reported a current shortage of skilled labor. For glass shops, it’s been difficult to find qualified service professionals in the…

Engaging the Millennial Workforce

SOURCE: FMI CORP. As the labor market continues to tighten and more of the nation’s 78 million-plus Baby Boomers head into retirement, construction firms will need to sharpen their hiring and recruiting pencils, say experts at FMI Corp., a provider of management consulting, investment banking and…

Millennials and Gen X

Millennials and Generation X—they are changing the workplace and the way companies do business. However, their definitions of success, and their expectations from the workplace, are different than those of previous generations. Employers and managers need to understand the attitudes and…

Combating Skilled Labor Shortages Head-On

A quote I’ve seen in several recent industry articles has caught my attention: CFO asks CEO: What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave? CEO: What happens if we don’t, and they stay? It’s an unfortunate trend that trades in many industries are struggling with—the never-…

Uncommon Hiring

Since Glass Magazine started reporting on the glass industry labor shortage in mid-2013, the issue has changed from a concern over finding qualified glaziers to an industry-wide need for good workers. Glass fabricators, metal companies, machine manufacturers and glazing firms report having trouble…