Problem Begins with P

It was a delight to be part of the Management Conference that the Texas Glass Association (TGA) held for its members on Friday, May 13, in Round Rock, Texas. (Glass TEXpo ‘21, which the association co-sponsored with USGlass magazine, was the first industry-wide event to be held post-COVID and we were all still wearing masks then, so it was nice to see—really see—full faces anew.) I enjoyed catching up with Felix Munson of Anchor-Ventana Glass, Kyle Sharp of Sharp Glass, who is serving as TGA president this year, Sam Hill of Oak Cliff Mirror and Glass, another backbone of the industry, and Kyle Lamb of Universal Glass, as well as… Read More »

The Other Employee Problem

Finding and retaining quality employees has always been one of the glass industry’s biggest challenges. It’s consistently been the number 1, 2 or 3 largest problem cited in every glazing study we’ve done over the years. The glass industry had this problem long before every other industry did. Now that every other industry has the same problem, it’s become worse than ever for the glass companies to find new and good employees. Glass installation competes against everything from convenience store employees ($20 an hour around here) to other building trades. Glass installation is physical work, often in unpleasant conditions. Even though they should, glaziers don’t get the respect that electricians… Read More »

April Powers

It’s hard to believe we’re in the month of May already—the first third of the year has passed with lightning speed. April 2022 was one of the busiest and most memorable months our industry has seen in a long time. Consider all that’s happened in the past four weeks. The month began with the return of Glass Expo Northeast, April 6-7, on Long Island. I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to see so many longtime friends and to welcome some new ones. It just felt “normal” to feel “normal” again. Here’s a look at each day of Glass Expo Northeast: here and here. Also taking place simultaneously was… Read More »

BEC in the Books

The 24th edition of the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference is in the books. In addition to having a feel of normalcy about it, the event serves as a miner’s canary for the industry in forecasting coming trends. Here are my top five takeaways: The Energy Noose Tightens—well, it’s not a noose really, but it is a group of regulations designed to increase energy efficiency in buildings. New York City’s new Energy Codes are beginning to reverberate to other states. We can expect to see more, not less, regulation around energy in more states in the future. Luckily, our industry has products that offer the energy-saving performance these codes will… Read More »

Back to the Same, Except it’s Different

Technological change slammed right into the contract glazing industry at the Building Envelope Conference and its effects were evident everywhere. The conference, which is designed for glazing contractors, was last held in early March 2020 and was the final industry event until Glass TEXpo™ this past May. It is sponsored by the National Glass Association and mixes educational sessions with social and networking opportunities. While most people seemed to revel in just seeing their colleagues’ full faces, sans masks, for the first time in the last two years, there was a realization that COVID had changed a little bit of everything and technology was changing the rest. Pre-registration lists showed representatives from 95 installing companies… Read More »

Education in a New Lite

Join USGlass magazine publisher Debra Levy for this installment of “Leadership in the Glass and Metal Industry.” Today’s guests are Marcus Dreher and Alex Buechel, co-owner and creative director of LearnGlazing.com.

OMG, OBE

The news today of the sale of Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® (OBE) was expected. The buyer was a bit of a surprise, and the price was a shocker. Somehow the news that Irish company CRH was interested in divesting of OBE made its way into the business press late last year. This in itself was highly unusual, as the parties involved usually take great pains to keep such information confidential until a deal, or at least an agreement in principle, is completed. They do so for a variety of reasons including security and regulatory ones. I could not think of another case where an impending sale had been “leaked” to the public… Read More »

Long COVID

These are not the easiest of times for our industry. They are not the hardest either. In many ways, the glass industry is suffering the effects of long COVID, and, though not life-threatening as it is to humans, it is difficult to handle and leaves us wondering when it will end. Let’s start by talking about supply. Is there a glass shortage? The answer is the same as when I wrote a blog on the topic nearly a year ago. Is there a shortage? Yes, if shortage means you cannot get the glass you need in its normal timeframe and under normal pricing patterns, then there most certainly is. But… Read More »

The Top Five, Of Course

So the question is “How was the show?” and the answer is “Don’t know.” The show, of course, is Glassbuild America (GBA), which was held in Atlanta last week. The “Don’t know” is because tradition says you never really know the success of a trade show until weeks, maybe months, after it’s occurred. COVID, of course, blew tradition away. Nothing was usual about this year’s show, from the temperature checks before entry to the lack of usual services at the venue and hotels. It was, of course, a very memorable event. How much of a success you deemed the show depended on where your expectations were. Many exhibitors told me… Read More »

Day One: Simon(son) Says

So which do you want first, the bad news or the bad news? That seemed like the question being asked at the Glazing Executives Forum held yesterday in conjunction with the GlassBuild America show. Attendees were socially distanced, so it was harder to estimate, but it seemed the most popular sessions attracted about 120-150 people. The most popular was entitled “Supply Chain Challenges,” led by Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors (AGC). Simonson painted such a negative picture that it prompted an audience question at one point, asking, “Is there any good news?” Simonson responded that he’s an economist and it’s his job to highlight the problem… Read More »

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