FTI New England by Eric Redding

 In News, Newsletter: spring '19

Change is inevitable and your training department is once again experiencing that change. A decade ago, Tom Falter joined the department and brought with him over 20 years of working knowledge in the glass & glazing industry. Tom changed us with his enthusiasm and passion, he pushed forward ideas and practices to make the FTI New England’s glazing program second to none. Ten years later, our glazier apprentices are more prepared for the industry we represent than ever before. Tom understood what it took to be ready to work and delivered the necessary certifications that kept them there.

Today, many of our former apprentices are now foremen, making their own way in our industry. Tom has decided 2019 will be the year he retires. He’s not walking away completely, he has too much to offer. So he’ll join the part-time instructors and continue delivering his blend of instruction. I know I speak for the entire FTI New England Training department when I say, “We wish you the very best retirement has to offer and thank you for your years of service.”

Enter the “new era” of glazier training and welcome Sean Love to the position of Director of Glass & Glazing. With almost 20 years under his belt, Sean is a graduate of the FTI New England Apprentice program and has already jumped in and hit the ground running. Sean is tasked with keeping the program on track and continuing the high-level training we’ve become accustomed to; his first change will be the newly created Glazier Certification.

The Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (AGMT) certification is now live. The program completed its final phase of development and is excited to announce it is now accepting applications for live testing. With the goal of minimizing installation related defects and failures within the industry, the program provides an independent assessment of an experienced glazier’s fundamental knowledge, skills, and abilities. To become AGMT-Certified, candidates must meet program prerequisites and pass both a knowledge-based and performance-based test. The prerequisites are

  • Read and sign the AGMT Candidate Agreement
  • Demonstrate at least 7,500 hours (within 5 years) of glazing-related work experience
  • Possess OSHA 10 (or Canadian equivalent) certification
  • Submit a photo of the applicant

In addition to meeting the program prerequisites, candidates must pass an assessment of their glazing knowledge, skills and abilities to become AGMT-certified. The assessment is divided into two tests, a Knowledge-based Test (KBT) and a Performance-based Test (PBT). This two-test format is designed to evaluate a technician’s fundamental knowledge, skill, and abilities required to proficiently perform foundational or basic glazing tasks.

The knowledge-based test is a 125-question, multiple choice test for which candidates will have 2 hours to complete. It is professionally administered on a computer in a test center.

The performance-based test is broken into three (3) Sections, for which candidates will have a combined 6 hours and 15 minutes to complete:

  • Curtainwall (3-1/2-hour time limit)
  • Storefront/Entrance (2-hour time limit)
  • Sealing (45-minute time limit)

Because products, systems, and procedures are ever-changing, in order to maintain certification through the AGMT Certification Program, a certified technician must renew his/her certification every 4 years from the date of most recent certification. This process will require candidates to sit for a knowledge-based written test, plus provide evidence of a required number of glazing-related work hours during the preceding 4-year period, and completion of a prescribed amount of continuing education. Refer to the AGMT Candidate Handbook for specific requirements.

This new certification is very similar to the format we implemented with our industrial painters 10 years ago with the SSPC CAS certification which means as far as administering the program we have a leg up as to what to expect and maybe we can avoid some of the same pitfalls. We do have our work cut out for us but, I can assure you, this training department will do everything in our authority to achieve successful outcomes. So, welcome aboard Sean and let’s start training!