Since its rollout at the beginning of last year, AAMA’s Installation Masters training and certification program has found some success. Participant response has been very positive, ATI’s Moyer reports. In discussing the program with various parties in the window and construction industries, his company has found interest not only from window manufacturers, but also from union representatives and a number of regulatory agencies.
AAMA’s Walker offers a similar assessment, noting that the organization also has seen interest among the big boxes. Companies such as Home Depot and Lowe’s are increasingly promoting installed sales programs, and this type of program could be useful to them as far as the training is concerned, and from a marketing standpoint.
Yet, there has been hesitancy for many companies to get involved, both admit. A few companies don’t like the concept o the certification program, reports Walker, but for the most part, the hesitancy to get involved and get installers trained stems from the difficulties many have in making the kind of investment in time and money required for training under the current program. As a result, AAMA is now exploring potential changes. Under the current setup, it costs about $300 to get an installer trained, as well as twoday session in the classroom. Walker states that AAMA is looking at ways to lower the costs, noting that the organization never entered in to the program with the idea of making money, but it does want to be sure it recoups its own investment in the program. Additionally, it is looking at restructuring the training sessions to be more flexible. It is examining, for example, at weekend training sessions, to eliminate the need to take people out of the field, as well as other options to break up the training more. At its meeting in January, AAMA demonstrated its plans, working in conjunction with the National Association of Manufactures, to create a virtual university, enabling members to participate in a wide range of educational and training programs via the internet. The possibility of adapting Installation Masters to allow installer training over the Internet also was discussed.
Walker remains confident that with changes, demand for Installation Masters will grow. “We’re in this for the long haul,” he notes. AAMA’s manufacturer members see the need for this type of program, as do BETEC and numerous other parties, he states. “The problems won’t go away, and with the whole situation related to mold emerging, getting installations done right is going to become even a higher priority.”¤