The glass industry is full of new blood, and veterans in the sector are looking for ways to pass along as much knowledge as possible to the next generation. That was the focus Tuesday afternoon at the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) Winter Conference.

The conference is being held at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells in California.

The alliance approved the scope of its education committee, which has parted from the certification committee since the last time IGMA met.

The committee filled five vacancies in the manufacturers category and two in the suppliers group.

Education committee chair Bill Briese told attendees that educating the industry is one of the most important functions of IGMA. That is especially important now with many industry veterans approaching retirement and a younger workforce entering the sector.

“Many of us have seen an increase in volume, we’re scampering for manpower, and this manpower is untrained and unskilled,” he said. “Probably one of the most important things we can do as an industry and an association is to continue our knowledge to next generation.”

With that, he said, IGMA is “endeavoring in a new direction with our training programs.”

One of those new programs is the IG Fabricator Workshop, which will take place March 22-24 at the Intertek Testing Facility in Plano, Texas.

“It’s an interactive and hands-on program,” said Briese. “It’s going to be more much more tangible than a PowerPoint presentation.”

The three-day event consists of a combination of online, classroom and laboratory instruction, building up from novice-level practices at the beginning to an advanced level at the end.

He also said there will be a benefit in industry members from different facilities talking about how they do things differently from one another. “That’s how we’re going to learn,” he said.

IGMA executive director Margaret Webb, the alliance’s director, also stressed the importance of education in the industry.

She said IGMA is aiming to “freshen up” the “Preventing IG Failures” video presentation it has done in the past and is looking for volunteers to bring new ideas to the presentation

She added that IGMA has seen a demand for quality management among the industry, and it is looking to do more webinars addressing quality control. Other webinars will address glass safety and new technologies, such as dynamic glass.


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