Investing in Professional Development, Putting Words into Action

Do you see value in professional development? Most people would answer yes, but how many would follow through? During the housing downturn, many expenses that didn't directly correlate to a revenue line item were put on hold. However, the industry is now doing better than it has in many, many years. So, how do you stand out from the competition to ensure you're at the top of your customers' lists?

According to the latest AAMA market study, the U.S. total non-residential vision area in 2015 increased 5 percent compared to 2014 and 10 percent compared to 2013. The excuse of lean times is over. Those who invest in their employees, invest in their business overall. Knowledge is king! When customers ask a question, they want to know they can count on you for an immediate, accurate answer.

Even Congress sees the value of education. The House Education and the Workforce Committee has introduced draft Perkins Reauthorization legislation and is expected to debate, mark up and vote on that legislation before the House adjourns in mid-July. Let's all pause here. Our government is acknowledging a gap. If both sides of Congress can come together on the issue of education, surely we can all agree that it is one worthy of action.

The conversation below from Joe Erb's blog on investing in professional development sums up how our industry should view education. 

CFO asks CEO: What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave?

CEO: What happens if we don't, and they stay?

Joe certainly put words into action by becoming one of the first FenestrationAssociate certified professionals, acknowledging that knowledge is power. In a highly competitive market with well-educated customers, it’s important for industry professionals to maintain a broad knowledge base. I challenge you to evaluate how to strategically strive toward professional development. The effects on your culture and customers will be worth the investment.

Angela Dickson is marketing manager for AAMA. Contact her 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.


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