American Master Installer Auto Glass Championship underway
The 2008 NGA American Master Installer Auto Glass Championship is underway. The winner of the competition, held Oct. 6-7 at GlassBuild America in Las Vegas, will represent the United States at the 2008 International Master Fitter Competition in Düsseldorf, Germany, Oct. 21-25. There, technicians from around the globe will compete to determine the world’s “master” auto glass installer.
The U.S. competitors arrived at the Las Vegas Hilton Oct. 5. They are, from left to right:
Kent Gines of Glass Doctor, St. George, Utah
Jeff Bloomhuff of Advanced Auto Glass, Akron Ohio
Mike Stevenson of Lee & Cates, Jacksonville, Fla.
Randall Layton of Go-Glass, Bridgeville, Del.
Todd Rennie of Glass America, Beloit, Wis.
Neil Haugee of Window Welder, Jerome, Idaho
Jeff Olive of Glasspro, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Pictured below are, from left to right:
Judge Steve Mort of Don's Mobile Glass
Leo Cyr, vice president of auto glass, National Glass Association
Master of Ceremonies Jay Sampson of Safety Auto Glass
Judge Frank Levesque of Glass Doctor
Judge Bruce Gates of County Glass Shops
Judge John Tero of Safety Glass Co.
On day one of the competition, the contestants worked on a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, selected because of its size and tight glass tolerances. The seven cars were arrayed in a semicircle looking out to the corridor that connects the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Master of Ceremonies Jay Sampson kept onlookers apprised of what was happening and why. Literally hundreds of spectators wandered in and out of the competition area between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
At 10 a.m. sharp, the contest began with a one-hour windshield repair exercise. During the first fifteen minutes, the judges quizzed the contestants on their knowledge of the Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS). Then, it was on to 45 minutes during which each contestant was expected to repair a windshield damage made by judges Frank Levesque and Jay Sampson. All contestants finished within the allotted 45 minutes.
This year, the judges used a scoring guide created by the NGA Judging Committee to judge each contestant. The guide provided each of the judges with the same checklist to use as a starting point in evaluating each contestant. The advantage of this system was immediately apparent. All judges had the same list of steps the contestant was expected to perform and the same number of points that could be awarded for the procedure. In this way, the committee worked to reduce random subjectivity in judging and ensure the fairest possible result.
Once the windshield repair exercise was complete, the windshield replacement portion of the competition took place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For the windshield replacement, the judges again began by asking each competitor a series of questions about the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS).
By 1 p.m., all the competitors had successfully completed the windshield removal and replacement portion of the competition. The technicians will return today, Oct. 7, to complete the side glass replacement portion of the event. The winner will be named this afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Industry Pavilion, booth 1232, on the show floor at GlassBuild America.
Stay tuned to GlassMagazine.com for updates from Las Vegas on the competition's progress.
—Leo Cyr, vice president of auto glass for the National Glass Association, contributed to this report