Volume 44, Issue 3 - March 2009

GANA Perspectives

Itís Time to Invest in Yourself
GANA Prepares Employees for the Future
by Brian Pitman

Letís begin by stating the obvious: our industry, in fact the entire economy, is in a full-on recession. Many of our members are seeing projects dwindle as the credit crunch dries up funding necessary to build next-generation skyscrapers, and the overall demand for glass and glazing isnít growing at the pace we have all been accustomed to in the past decade. Furthermore, USGlass Magazineís USGNN.comô daily newsletter has been detailing the rash of layoffs from several companies in the industry. With all this gloom and doom, what can a glazing contractor do to get ahead of the curve for when times are good again? The answer is Economics 101: itís time to invest in yourself.

Educational Courses
The tried and true way to prepare your company for the end of harsh economic times is to find commonsense investments to make your company better through increased ability and service. Frequently those investments are in educating your personnel. Here at the Glass Association of North America (GANA), we have a variety of ways to increase the caliber of your staff.

The first is through an event that takes place in only a few weeks in the heart of glass country. The Glass Fabrication & Glazing Educational Conference (GlassFab) is the premier educational opportunity for project managers, estimators and fabricators in commercial glass and glazing. With a focus on the many ways to make your project managers more efficient, quicker and better prepared to be successful in this industry, glazing contractors can give themselves a better overall team of professionals with the investment of sending that team to GlassFab. Furthermore, fabricators of insulating, laminated or tempered glass can eliminate mistakes and produce a better quality product by immersing key employees in the compact yet packed sessions dedicated to each of these fabricating processes.

If you are interested in investing a nominal amount of capital in your employees to make them better at what they do, GlassFab, with its 40-plus-year history, is one of the best ways to make an immediate impact.

The next tool GANA offers to better employees is the Blueprint Reading & Labor Estimating Course, a ďwork at your own paceĒ correspondence course. This course is designed for beginning estimators in the contract glazing business and is intended to provide the beginner with many of the basic facts about the materials used, as well as a systematic approach to estimating metal, glass and labor. This course can be completed in a matter of weeks or extended over two years. Many companies already have invested in this great program this year to insure their employees are on the leading edge.

Resourceful Publications
GANA also released the 2008 edition of the Sealant Manual at the very end of last year, and this Manual (the first update in nearly two decades), brings the industry up-to-date with the latest technologies and methodology in sealants. Filled with all new color 3-D graphics, the Sealant Manual is an inexpensive way to give employees a jump on competitors using old information.

Finally, the newest of GANAís tools is the granddaddy of them all, the GANA Glazing Manual. The Manualís 50th anniversary edition features enhanced sections and updates that expand a publication that has been called the ďbibleĒ of the glazing industry. Many companies buy dozens of copies to guarantee that each employee is armed with the latest information.

To learn more about each of these inexpensive but valuable tools and how they can help your company better itself in expectation of an economic climate more conducive to the commercial glass and glazing industry, visit our website at www.glasswebsite.com. You will be interested in the events and publications sections (but donít forget to download our free glass informational bulletins in the TechCenter as well). If you are interested in a bulk discount for our many different manuals, call Carol Land at 785/271-0208, and she will assist you.

Brian Pitman is GANAís director of marketing and communications. Mr. Pitmanís opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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