Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lost in the shuffle and recap of AIA was the announcement of a new construction economic report for us to follow and see if it provides any more insight into our future. The Dodge Momentum Index is a 12-month leading indicator of construction spending for non-residential buildings. In its first ever release the news was positive, with a rating of 94.7. That evidently is a good score. The problem with reports like this and the Architectural Billings Index is, who really knows what's good, bad, ugly, helpful, positive, legitimate, fairy tale etc.? I am hopeful that since this is an indicator based on spending at the building level it's more accurate than a pre-bank loan report via the ABI. At the end of the day, all I can do is grab on to the positivity and hold it tight so if the new report is showing that we are moving in the right direction, count me in. No matter what the key here is if these pieces keep showing positive but the industry lags, they lose all legitimacy. We're already expecting good things late in 2012 and early 2013 based on the ABI, so eventually, the proof is going to be in the pudding.


  • Leftover items missed from my AIA recap last week. It was very nice to see the gang from Walker. Still dressing better than most of mankind. Always nice to see the classy Tom Herron of NFRC. And yes, it is comical for me to write nice things about NFRC, but Tom deserves them. And quite frankly, my battles there have been done for a very long time.
  • I know other bloggers have hit this, and I often do too, but when someone can explain to me how the gas and oil companies get away with the shenanigans they do, that would be great. I watched gas go up 14 cents a gallon ahead of the Memorial Day holiday despite falling oil prices. Simply amazing.
  • The initial line-up for the Glazing Executive Forum (GEF) was just announced and looks absolutely fantastic. Great speakers and subjects, this will be one not to be missed. What a few days in September that will be between GlassBuild America and GEF. Really excited for it. More obviously on both as we get closer.
  • had two reports this week that were positive and interesting with one calling for a big jump for "Smart Glass" and one for Security Glass. On the "Smart Glass" one I was confused on which glass styles are considered for it- that surely didn't seem clear to me. (I guess I am too dumb to figure out Smart Glass)
  • Also seen on the site was the news of a tariff on Chinese Solar Panels. While this will be helpful to the cause of the domestic providers, it's pretty late in coming.
  • By the way, please keep in mind to visit during the week for the latest info and breaking events. A copy of my blog is there along with other blogs, articles and more. Good stuff.
  • Last this week, I hope everyone is having or had a good Memorial Day. Hopefully you are taking or took time to remember and honor those who fought for our freedoms. And while doing so, send positive thoughts to the brave men and women protecting us today and beyond. 

Read on for links and clip of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The 2012 American Institute of Architects show is in the books, and there's no doubt that the vibe was positive on the show floor. This is the first show in a long time where I heard a true sense of enthusiasm from people towards the economy and our markets ... at least related to sales/growth. I think for many companies, the past few years were so rough that seeing some light these days is reason to celebrate. No doubt, we are not out of the woods--and still, so much can change--but the attitude of the majority of the folks I talked to was on the extremely positive side. In fact, morale was so good, the typical trade show talk about competition destroying markets, cash flow issues, rumors and such were not prominent like in years' past. Oh, it was still there, because that's a staple of our world, like it or not. But in the end, it was pretty minimal compared to the commiseration of the past.

DC did not disappoint; the show had a steady flow. It did have some dead pockets, but not like the past two years. I will say that I wouldn't want to live in DC; the traffic and layout of the city and streets were mind numbing.

Just a note ... this blog is dedicated to the AIA show. We'll be back next week with other industry stuff like the ABI, McGraw Hill's new report and the start of hurricane season.

Other show musings...

  • As always, getting to see some of the great people of our industry is the best for me, and this year was no different. Among those I was lucky enough to run into was the amazingly talented Wendy Zhou of Guardian. She's an all-time favorite of mine, and now probably an all-time favorite of every architect that met her on the floor. Brian Leizerowicz of EFCO also was welcoming, though I am sure he'd prefer to run the other way when he sees me approaching! It was great to catch up with Glenn Miner at PPG looking dapper in the latest greatest Rob Struble trade show clothing collection: a lightweight, stylish windjacket. Plus, it was nice to see Mike Rupert of PPG for the first time in a while. And, I did get a picture with the legendary P. BEAR of PPG Starphire fame. (Great interest generator, by the way; kudos Mr. Struble)
  • Some great new booths making debuts included a sharp setup from Viracon. It was really eye-catching. GGI also had a show-stopping debut with an area laid out with a ton of great looking glass that you could flip on through. Pilkington looked to be in a new structure (at least to me) with the rest of the NSG Group, and it was fantastic. Fun for me too because they had several pictures of jobs I once had a part in, good memory lane stuff. AGNORA from Canada showed off a massive lite of glass, along with some excellent looking deco pieces for their maiden voyage in the show.
  • Their booth wasn't new as it debuted in the fall at Greenbuild, but SAGE had a lot of buzz around their snazzy setup. Their new parent Saint-Gobain had a massive "scoreboard" that stood above their booth; it was pretty mesmerizing. Guardian was busy the entire show with all of its new product launches. Earnest Thompson designed a pretty awesome booth space; you saw a lot of stuff in a very clean and sharp way. I also liked the sample setup for their new InGlass program. Lots of buzz too around the Panda Windows exhibit, as their door systems left architects in awe. Because of the steady traffic, I never could get into Berkowitz, Cristacurva, Pulp Studio or Dlubak's exhibits. They were all small but very effective.
  • The biggest buzz pre-show and during the show surrounded YKK. As I mentioned last week, they promoted an announcement promised to be unlike anything the industry had ever seen before. They did a great job of building the suspense, then put on a great show to launch their new high performance unitized curtain wall. I can say the presentation surely was like nothing I had ever seen before! Kudos to Oliver Stepe, Mike Turner and company.
  • Random and wrap up....
    -- Interesting that at the 7/11 next to my hotel they charged me $0.05 for a bag. Unless I have been missing something, that had to be the first time I was hit with a bag surcharge.
    --At the same convention center as AIA was the US Counter Terrorism Show. Architects and spies in the same place; could you get more different?
    --Also, it was the first major trade show I have seen go with a badge that was without a plastic sleeve. It was just a slick, thicker piece of material that seemed durable enough. I assume this could be a trend, though I wonder how much more expensive it is compared to what shows normally use.
    -- In the end, DC proved to be a solid venue, as expected. Next year, AIA is in Denver, and even though I like that area, there's no way the show will be as good from a traffic standpoint. 

So, now we move on to GlassBuild America in the fall. The floor is filling up and nice buzz is building. You'll be hearing a ton more from me on this as it gets closer, but needless to say, it's a must-attend event, especially if you want to stay on top of the trends and industry. 

Read on for links and clip of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, May 14, 2012


I am very excited to write my first blog as the new senior manager of Education & Training for the National Glass Association. I was thrilled to join the NGA, because I believe the mission of this organization and the great industry it serves is perfectly aligned with my passion for training and education. But enough about me, this blog post was inspired by you!

A recent news clip caught my attention and propelled me to write this post. Economic indicators say the job picture is brightening and demand for skilled workers is on the rise.  So, how do you prepare and ensure that you are competitive? 

Throughout my career I have been asked many times, "What is the key to long-term success and remaining relevant in the market?" The answer is—drum roll, please—having well trained, highly skilled employees!  It truly is the only way a business can distinguish itself from the pack.

However, even with that knowledge, some businesses look for ways to cut their spending and tighten their belts, and sadly, training is often sacrificed. This impacts the bottom line more negatively than most businesses realize.  Statistics show that by not investing in employees (or yourself for that matter), businesses suffer. On the other hand, businesses that invest in their people by sending their staff to good training programs see huge benefits, such as:

  • Employees feel valued, resulting in greater loyalty to the company
  • Employees make better decisions when they participate in formal training programs
  • You create a reputation for your company that you are a great employer and a great place to work
  • Reduced turnover
  • Increased productivity

Some business owners wonder how they can find the time or what the best way to develop a good training program is.  My goal is to help you answer those questions and develop a strategy with you to meet your training needs. The mission of the NGA is to “provide cutting-edge education and training programs that upgrade technical skills, improve management practices and enhance quality workmanship" like  and the Glass Management Institute.

As is the nature of business, strategic models will shift from time to time, but the need for training will remain a constant. With all indicators pointing to a new day, it begs the question, “Will you be ready?"

Lilly Grossman is senior manager, Education & Training, for the National Glass Association. Write her at

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Last week saw huge growth in the world of dynamic glass. Within a span of 24 hours, this industry segment took massive steps forward and increased its legitimacy dramatically.  First, Sage announced that Saint-Gobain was purchasing it whole. I am very happy for John Van Dine, Dr. Helen Sanders and the folks there. Combining with a giant force like Saint-Gobain will surely pay some dividends.

The next day came the news that Guardian was teaming up with Soladigm. That just continues the push into the mainstream, and with the excellence of Earnest Thompson pulling the marketing levers, it will be exciting to see what comes out of this process (more on that below). Add these developments to previous announcements like Pleotint’s arrangement with PPG and RavenBrick’s continued advancements with its patented thermochromic technology, and you have an industry segment that is maturing right in front of our eyes.

If there’s a down side it will be price points and education, both of which are a challenge in any emerging area, but especially so in our industry, which has never been known to enjoy expensive tastes.

And yes, in full disclosure, I do consult for the talented folks at RavenBrick, but as you can see from the above, I promote and remain positive about the entire dynamic glass space.


  • The American Institute of Architects show is this week in Washington, D.C. The past few AIA shows have not been the best, but I think this year has potential to change that trend.  First off, the location is super: D.C. is a great area to attract a ton of traffic, and like I noted here previously, there’s a significant thirst for information and education that quality trade shows bring. So, we will see what happens and have the official “who’s who” at the show posted next week on my blog, as always.
  • Speaking of AIA... I'm very curious to see what YKK has up its sleeve. It is promising something unlike anything ever seen on a building products trade show floor. Looking forward to it! Plus, as teased above, Earnest Thompson is at it again, building excitement for the show using YouTube to preview their efforts with a three-video series. You can find part one right here, and keep an eye out for the next two posted ahead of the show.
  • Friend of the blog, Joe Carlos of Tri View Glass in California, sent a really positive and exciting link HERE from the LA Times about the need for apartments driving commercial construction. Obviously, welcome news!
  • Saw an interesting tweet/video via Ted Bleecker this week about the trend of “re-shoring,” which means jobs coming BACK to the U.S. from abroad.  My problem is there will be no one here who wants to do them.  Still a worthwhile watch of 1:50.
  • And yes, I might as well load you up with yet another great link to read. (Print these out, save them for another time...or a plane trip.) This one is about the debacle of building a new corporate campus for I know many companies in our industry use that program/service, but after reading this, you just shake your head.  A great inside story of money, planning and calamities all around.
  • I love the artist Adele…her voice and music are epic. The song “Set Fire to the Rain” is fantastic, and I love the way she says “fire.”
  • Last, I am very excited to see Lilly Grossman join the blogging world with posts on glassblog.  Her addition to the education team at the National Glass Association was super, and everyone attending future educational events will appreciate her efforts.  Welcome to the blog world and the industry Lilly!

Read on for links and video of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Are you managing based on experience or wisdom? Experience is defined as learning from one's own mistakes. Wisdom is defined as learning from others’ mistakes. Experience is always expensive. Wisdom is free.

During my career at Evans Glass Co., I have experienced five major financial crises: 20 percent interest rates during the Carter administration, the late 1980s recession as a result of the 1986 tax code revision, the bust, 9-11 and the recent mortgage crisis. Based upon my experience, which has been very expensive, I have learned that our behavior is very predictable before, during and after each crisis.


  • Consumer spending on luxuries/non-necessities accelerates because society begins believing that the current boom times are normal.
  • In our industry, we begin to see the creation of many small glass shops. Glaziers think they see “the boss getting rich” and leave to start their own company. My father said this typically happens six to 12 months before the crisis begins.


  • Society begins loudly complaining that “gas prices are too high,” and our dependence upon “foreign oil” is out of control.
  • People begin worrying about other countries “owning” us and how our country will become a puppet of the foreign powers.
  • Parents begin fretting about “their kids’ future” and the legacy they will leave the “younger generation."
  • Generally, people believe we will never see good times again.
  • Businesses panic and operate out of fear by slashing jobs, reducing inventory and taking projects at near cost “just to keep their people busy."
  • It is easy to become a victim of short-term thinking with very little or no thought of the future. We function in survival mode.


  • We can’t believe we are emerging from the crisis, so we postpone growth decisions. We are afraid to invest in our business, even though it is the best time to do so and we will get the best return on our investment.
  • Revenues and profits do not parallel each other. Revenues grow first and faster than profits. Businesses are still using low margins to get work. Margins will be raised when demand begins exceeding supply. Increased profits will then follow.
  • Cash flow is constricted. Businesses must buy materials to execute the new work. These materials must be paid for before the business collects receivables, or payment to vendors must be delayed until collection. In the latter case, vendors begin demanding payment or they will cease supply. In a few months, the cash flow shortage will disappear.
  • New equipment purchases or the repair of existing equipment is required. For example, old trucks that were idled need repair, or new hires are necessary.

When we are in a crisis it is difficult to know our location. It is probable that we will forget our past experiences in similar situations. This is a recap of my experience. Will you make decisions based upon experience or wisdom?

The author is president of Evans Glass Co., and chairman-elect of the National Glass Association. Write him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Last week, I had one of those moments that make you think, “Wow, if they used their skills for good and not evil, where would we be as a world and society?” The back story is that I went to use my credit card at an office supply store on Sunday, and it was rejected. When I called, I was shocked to learn my credit card had been cloned, and someone 3,000 miles away was using it. And crazier yet, they were using an actual card and swiping it; this wasn’t some online purchase. Thankfully, my card company shut this scheme down quickly, but it just amazes me how incredibly intelligent people use their skills for criminal activities. Evidently, when I was at a gas station in Mississippi, my swipe was intercepted. The code then was copied and laid on a card. And within a day, it was in circulation. It’s incredible that this happens and that no matter how many precautions you take, you are always vulnerable. Somewhere, truly brilliant people are working to game the system and rip off innocent people and companies, and it’s a shame of the largest measure.


  • This past week was the always solid Glass Expo from the Mid Atlantic Glass Association. I was unable to attend but heard from many who did that it was a very good event. I like that there’s a heavy thirst for shows, as it proves that people in our industry value the education, information and networking that these events offer. Keep in mind, the biggest of all of these comes up September 12-14 in Las Vegas. It is shaping up very nicely, and if you are not planning on being there, you should really start thinking about it.
  • After a quiet several weeks, last week, the drumbeat of rumors of branch closures and equipment being moved overseas started up again. While this could be more smoke than fire, the fact that the tide of bad news is returning does lead me to believe that the “quiet” I was mentioning was a temporary respite from the volatility we are facing.
  • If you ever find yourself in Dearborn, Mich., do yourself a favor and take in the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.  There is a simply awesome slice of American history on display at both, and for the summer, a stunning “Titanic” exhibit is on hand. I went last weekend and it was mind blowing.
  • Just got my most recent issue of Glass Magazine. Loved the decorative focus. Many standout pieces, but my personal favorites were the products by Jockimo and M3. Really well done by those companies and everyone who submitted. Make sure you check it out!
  • Construction spending was up, albeit slightly; but up nonetheless. Small victories are nothing to sneeze at in a challenging world.
  • From a personal note, I was very excited to see Charles Witherington joining the team at Binswanger Glass. I am happy to see Charles back in the industry; his knowledge and experience will be put to great use. No doubt, the folks at Binswanger are lucky to have him.
  • Last this week… My daughter’s Derby choices were a mixed bag. Her winner faded badly down the stretch, but her choice for 2nd actually did finish 3rd. She vows better results at the Preakness.

Read on for links and video of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

“If you're not a risk taker, you should get the [heck] out of business.”
- Ray Kroc

Whether you’re a union or non-union contract glazing company--regardless of your size or the type of projects you do--the downturn has caused the loss of a lot of jobs, the loss of a lot of cash and a lot of business failures.

If you are an owner of a small-to-medium-sized contract glazing company in the U.S., chances are it’s been an especially rough financial ride for you since 2008.  Don’t feel like you’re alone.  And if you have been struggling financially and you’re having trouble getting bonds for your projects, don’t be surprised.

To get the big picture on where contract glaziers and other sub-trades currently stand within the U.S. construction industry, construction bonding surety companies can tell the best tale.  The members of the bonding surety industry are the ones who back general contractors and subcontractors with Payment & Performance bonds.  Here are a few quotes from the November 2011 edition of that industry’s main trade publication, Construction Executive magazine. Click here to read the "9th Annual Contractors' Guide to Surety Bonding" in its entirety.

“Loss frequency is expected to continue to increase in 2012 and 2013.  With more losses from smaller specialty trade contractors, sureties likely will see more severe losses from larger general building contractors and engineering contractors.  Two years of obtaining low-margin work with tough contract terms will begin to affect many contractors in 2012.”

“This economy has hit this (small contractors) market segment hardest, which has led to an increase in defaults and losses. …Underwriting has tightened up to ensure we are bonding qualified contractors."

“Surety underwriters will disengage pretty quickly from an account when company losses or debt leverage become issues”.

“Sureties also will require subcontractors to bond back to prime and general contractors more frequently.”

The demise of Trainor Glass (No. 4 on Glass Magazine's 2011 Top 50 Glaziers list) and ASI, Ltd. (No. 6 on that list) obviously doesn’t help how contract glaziers look to the surety industry these days.

FYI: The top 10 U.S. surety companies write 65 percent of the industry premiums (bonds), and the top five sureties--Travelers, Liberty, Zurich, CAN, and Chubb--write 54 percent of all the surety industry’s premiums.  The good news, reportedly, is that "many smaller sureties are now trying to move up to service mid-market customers."

Are you seeing this too?
General contractors always seem to come up with new contract clauses every day, and lately, I see even more unique provisions that push risk and responsibility down to the subcontractor as a result of the shrinking bonding industry.

Owners aren’t going to stop wanting to minimize risk.  Because so many general contractors and subcontractors have suffered financially over recent years, subcontracts issued post-bid by the generals now often require subs to furnish Performance & Payment bonds, even when the general hasn’t posted a P&P bond itself.

In other words, the GC (who may have even bigger financial troubles than you and may not have enough bonding capacity itself) has managed to get the owner to overlook the GC responsibility, and the GC then tries to force the subs post-bid to take the risk and eat up their bonding capacity!!

I’m told by friends around the country this isn’t new.  But check your contract language closely, even on small jobs.  I had a GC try to get me to bond a $9,000 remodel at our local Sam’s Club.  Just say no to general contractors wanting post-bid P&P bonds.  Ask to see the P&P bond they gave to the owner first.

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” - Hunter S. Thompson

 Rod Van Buskirk is the third-generation owner of Bacon & Van Buskirk Glass Co., with locations in Champaign and Springfield, Ill.  A past NGA Chairman, Rod looks at the industry from the middle of nowhere, steals ideas from anyone he can and pretends to know what he’s talking about.  Rod invites your comments as you are certainly smarter than he is.

Monday, April 30, 2012

This past week was the NFL draft. As a little kid, I seriously lived for this event. It used to be held on a Tuesday morning, and I would beg to stay home from school, but my parents were on to my ways, so no fake sickness was going to work that particular day. Anyway, this year’s edition got me thinking. One, can you imagine if our industry had a draft? The ability to bring in fresh talent to fortify our teams would be amazing, right? Especially if it came right to you, like it works in the football process. Sadly, the lack of new talent is a serious issue for our industry. As I travel the country, I hear about companies' needs for  operational and technical folks (seems like sales is not an issue in comparison) and that finding those candidates is difficult. There are great opportunities on that side of the industry, and companies that find good ones are locking them down, because replacing them is an epic chore. At the end of the day, we can never have a “draft,” so we have to find our way. One approach is growing folks from within, getting them involved in trade organizations and loading up on the great educational opportunities like the Glass Management Institute. That’s at least a start, and part of something that we have to continue to explore to keep advancing our industry.


Because it was a painfully slow news week, just quick hit thoughts…

  • Was it me or was the weather much worse in April than it was in February and March?
  • Congrats to Joe Shultheis on his new gig at Lin El. Great addition to a very good group of folks!
  • In case you missed it, the excellent Matt Johnson penned a fantastic article for Glass Magazine on social media and the risks and rewards of online communication.  It's worth a read right here.
  • Was I the only one who did a double take last week seeing news stories featuring “Mestek” and “Meshtec”?  With names so close, what are the chances they end up making news literally the same day?
  • For those of you interested, my daughter's foolproof guaranteed pick to win the Kentucky Derby will be online at my blog later this week, probably Friday night. I love the Derby. Someday, I will make it there for it.
  • I guess Boston and Chicago won’t be meeting in the Cup eh? And my reverse jinxing didn’t work because the Canucks and Pens also went out. The NHL playoffs… pure craziness.
  • Last this week, I got to observe an “Ask the Expert” radio show in Norfolk, Va., where glass and glazing were the topics. It was a great experience to hear the public call in and get a flavor for what they are looking for. Fascinating since what we consider important surely wasn’t the same as what the audience wanted, at least in this small sample.

Read on for links and clip of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, April 23, 2012

It’s hard not to get excited over the latest numbers from the Architecture Billings Index. We are now surely past fluke territory and into a full-blown trend. The ABI has now stayed positive for the fifth straight month, and I am not about to throw cold water on it. Positive, no matter how small, is still a step in the right direction. If there is any worry at all, it’s that the ABI might not be the best or most accurate indicator of success. Because the effect does not hit our industry for 9-plus months--and when it does, it doesn't hit all at once--it really is hard for us to quantify. But in any case, news like this needs to be savored as we move from darker days forward.


  • Bob Leyland of Kawneer announced his retirement last week, and it bummed me out. Another true gentleman and class act leaving our ranks. He will be a tough act to follow, that is for sure, and I wish only the best for Bob in his next phase of life.
  • Lost in my excitement and glee over my alma mater making the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament, I never gave proper love to the University of Kentucky. Big Blue did a great job in dominating the tourney, and I had a few of my industry pals gently remind me that I didn't honor them. So, congrats to UK and their fans; enjoy the title!
  • An interesting list via the always-informative twitter feed of Heather West. This one is the top 10 Cities with Energy Star-certified buildings:

10. Boston (161)
9. Riverside, Ca. (164)
8. Dallas-Fort Worth (178)
7. Houston (231)
6. New York (261)
5. San Francisco (270)
4. Chicago (294)
3. Atlanta (359)
2. Washington, D.C. (404)
1. Los Angeles (659 buildings)

The interesting angle for me is seeing Atlanta on there. Obviously, when that area was booming (seems like eons ago right?) they built the buildings right.

  • With some high-rise condos in Toronto going to a “protective mesh” to protect against fallout of broken tempered, how long will it be before we see a push for all balcony glass to be laminated?
  • Last this week: the Glass Management Institute kicks back off June 5. Yours truly is actually teaching one of the courses, but before you dismiss it because of that, please take a look at the rest of the schedule. All joking aside, this is surely a worthwhile piece of education. If you and your company want to get ahead, getting the extra education insights and advancements via GMI will advance the push. Anyway, this is my third stint teaching the marketing course, and I’m humbled and honored to be involved again. Plus, NGA has a tremendous new education facilitator in Lilly Grossman, and her addition will surely be a major positive for all involved.

Read on for links and video of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In the weeks and months following Trainor Glass Co.'s closure, we have received many emails from former Trainor employees expressing their concerns about the situation, sharing their stories, or asking for assistance finding new employment. 

Among them, one in particular stood out. It reads: “I do not think we need to worry about innovative thinking or approaches to glass and glazing within construction. This doesn’t die with a company name. This innovation and approach lives within the people who work it day in and day out. … The people are the expanded mind. The people think outside of the box and have an attitude of anything can be achieved if you work hard to truly figure it out. These people will continue to work with high standards and excited hearts for building ... hopefully, no matter where this change takes them.”

Written by a former Trainor employee who had moved on prior to the closure, this email draws attention to our industry’s most valuable asset: the people. And as Garret Henson, vice president of sales for Viracon, says here, “It is imperative that our industry retains this talent.”

Market conditions remain difficult, but if you can hire new employees, do so, says Jeff Dietrich, senior analyst for the Institute for Trend Research. “We’ll see milder than normal growth [in the economy], but you need to be planning for it, hiring for it,” he said at the most recent Glazing Executives Forum. “This is an opportunity to hire talented people and take the time to train them.”

And with the number of experienced glass professionals currently looking for work, chances are that training could be minimal.

If your company is among those considering new hires in 2012, I would encourage you to visit to review hundreds of resumes from qualified candidates. There is a fee for this service; for more information please contact Jeff Smith at

Those of you looking for employment can create an account and post your resume on the site at no charge. You can also view available jobs and create alerts to notify you when a specific type of position opens up, for free.

I know several companies have already hired former Trainor employees and other talented people who lost their jobs in this downturn. My hope is that this will continue, both for the individuals and our industry at large.

Chase is editorial director of Glass Magazine. Write her at

Page 32 of 67
 << First | < Previous 30 | 31 | 32 33 | 34 Next > | Last >> 

Blog Archive