The need for skilled trades workers in Michigan has prompted Wallside Windows to start a training course for new entrants into the installation industry.

The Wallside Windows Installer Certification Program supports the development of a new generation of skilled trades workers. | Photo courtesy of Wallside Windows.

Over the course of three days, the Wallside Windows Installer Certification Program allows students to experience a day in the life of an installer, learn about the roles available at each level of an installation crew and receive training on service excellence. The course also teaches apprentices what to expect in the workplace and the benefits of being an installer.

“It’s important to provide opportunities and a career path for people that are skilled workers,” says Wallside Windows chief of staff Adam Blanck. “The future of Wallside Windows depends on a new generation of skilled installers.”

The family-owned replacement window business began the program as a solution to the challenge of hiring experienced installers. Starting a little under a year ago, the company partnered with three experts to provide the program: Delilah Reynolds of the independent consulting firm, DelRey Consulting; Margee Kaczmarek, an independent human relations consultant and Mark McManus, a retired installer and business owner who facilitates the training sessions.

“The goal of this program is to connect installers with Wallside Windows and to equip them with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to be a productive member of the team from Day One,” says Reynolds.

The program was piloted in early spring 2019 with newer employees who were already working with installation crews. The first official training class was then held in July with nine participants. A second course was just completed in August with 10 participants.

The Wallside Windows has hosted two sessions of its new Installer Certification Program so far. | Photo courtesy of Wallside Windows.

According to Reynolds, Blanck introduces apprentices to the history of Wallside then McManus teaches both the operational and basic technical aspects of the course while Kaczmarek focuses on recruiting for the program.

“We are currently working to develop long term partnerships with targeted high school vocational education programs that offer construction trades and the state of Michigan,” Kaczmarek says, naming programs like the MEDC and Michigan Works! as examples. “The company is very committed to this and willing to support individuals who are interested in making a long-term career partnering with Wallside Windows.”

Wallside Windows covers the entire cost to participate in the program and no experience is necessary, though some exposure to construction trades is preferred.

Kaczmarek says this is the first program in the area specifically targeted to window installation.

Blanck says, “This program practically guarantees participants a job once it is completed.”

1 Comment

  1. I caught up with Adam at Glassbuild and he is super excited about this program. Our industry currently has such a severe shortage of qualified installers that it has significantly affected lead times for the consumer. This is a brilliant move on the part of Wallside as skilled installers are crucial to overall customer satisfaction. One can build a near perfect window but it still will not perform as intended if installed incorrectly!

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