Glazier Certification Now Available

The Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (AGMT) Certification Program has completed its final phase of development and is excited to announce it is now accepting applications for live testing.

This is an important advancement in the trade to take the quality of craftsmanship and safety to a higher level in the glazing industry, and the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades and the International Finishing Trades Institute are leading the charge for this certification for our members.

In development since early 2017, the certification program was created with the help of numerous professionals (subject matter experts) from within the glass and glazing community, including: glazing technicians & contractors, architects, engineers, general contractors, construction managers, industry consultants, manufacturers, suppliers, and professional exam developers to produce an impartial, effective test.

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.

While testing location dates and times are still being lined up, first stops are scheduled for: Philadelphia, Baltimore, and the California – Bay Area, with more locations to be scheduled in the coming months.

To allow interested glaziers across North America an opportunity to sign up for the certification, the Program will run testing in the coming months, and will begin issuing Certifications to those who qualify on an initial “sunrise” date later this year.

For more information about the program, including how to apply, fees, and study material please contact the office of your IUPAT director of training, or visit

The iFTI launches On-the-Job Learning Tool

The International Finishing Trades Institute (iFTI) has been working with IUPAT district councils to develop the On-the-Job Learning (OJL) and Related Instruction (RI) tool, and it was successfully launched in November. It is designed to have a universal single point of entry to track apprentice hours, compare and verify members’ reported hours, provide progress reports to apprentices, and enable reporting synchronized with the iFTI LMS and IMSe system database.

The OJL project aims to simplify the apprentice reporting of hours, reduce the administrative time required of the district councils, and capture these hours for reporting purposes.

The project was developed in coordination with the LMS, IMSe, IUPAT app, our IT. The project leaders also want to give a special thanks to the members of the OJL Task Force group.

The OJL feature is now available on the IUPAT app, you can download the app at The App Store or Google Play by search IUPAT – Click here for more info.

The iFTI Creates the Path to become a Master Instructor

Quality curricula is crucial to keeping the apprentices and journey workers of the IUPAT the best of the best on the job site, but the quality of instruction is just as critical, if not more so. This is why the International Finishing Trades Institute (iFTI) has been working to take its level of instruction in the United States and Canada to an even higher level than it is now.

The inaugural Capstone Project was held in February 2019 on the IUPAT Campus in Hanover, Maryland with 8 participants.

The International Finishing Trades Institute (iFTI) Master Instructor Capstone is the final course an instructor will take prior to being recognized as an iFTI Master Instructor.  The iFTI Master Instructor Program consists of a total of ten courses. These courses include the combination of two teaching techniques courses, three health and safety courses, four additional elective courses and the Capstone Project offered by the iFTI in Hanover, MD.

The Capstone Project requires further analysis of a training topic impacting the Finishing Trades industries at an international, state/province or local level that is developed into either a research paper or a unit of study for training and education.  The strategy for completing the Capstone project includes mandatory attendance at an initial three-day seminar at the iFTI in Hanover, Maryland where instructors will convey all project guidelines and deliverables, and provide for collaboration and assistance among instructors and peers with topic selection, proposal writing, and preliminary project development.

After the initial three days, students will return home to continue the development of their topic over a period of months with periodic check-ins, conference calls, and virtual support and feedback from an IFTI advisor or team of advisors.

The Capstone project culminates in a two-day showcase of project presentations at the iFTI in Hanover MD where students will share their research and findings or share the design and development of their new course of study.  Students are evaluated on many elements of the project including demonstrated knowledge and engagement with their topic, originality and complexity of the topic, meeting project deliverables, overall participation, effort, and quality of the project materials and presentation.  The final deliverable is a Capstone Project reflection paper that will allow the student to take a final look and reflect upon their successes, failures, plans for improvement and the overall project development and implementation process.

The inaugural Capstone Project was held in February 2019 with 8 participants. Eligibility for participation in the Capstone course is based on completion of the iFTI Master Instructor course requirements.

The iFTI is excited about this new opportunity for our member instructors that will enhance their skills and knowledge and deliver a standard of quality and integrity in our training and education programs as a Master Instructor.

Labor and Management Offer a New Kind of “Apprenticeship”

Traditionally, when you think of an apprenticeship in the Finishing Trades, the work is done in training centers across North America, and with on the job training. Now, thanks to IUPAT labor and management working together, there’s a new kind of “apprenticeship” available to IUPAT members – in estimating.

Estimating Essentials is a course offered to IUPAT contractors who want to introduce a recent company hire, an up and coming journey worker or a foremen whose skills they want to develop to broaden their career opportunities in construction and estimating, as well as give the company another trained estimator.

Estimating Essentials is bringing a new kind of apprenticeship to the IUPAT and its industry partners.

This two-day educational course for the apprentice estimator and a mentor covers all the steps to effectively develop a winning bid. It includes classroom and hands-on estimating practice, from document review through quantity takeoff and the calculation of all direct and indirect costs, concluding with the total price bid.

Topics include:

  • Contracts and other bid documents
  • Quantity takeoff
  • Direct costs
  • Indirect costs, contingencies and overhead
  • Common errors made and how to avoid them
  • Practice estimates
  • Internet resources and tools

Classes are currently being held different areas across North America and well received by the students. Students are asked to make comments in a review, and the feedback has been very promising for the class to continue to develop and succeed.

“I believe this course should be offered to every new signatory company that has new estimators.”

“The class was the best construction training class.”

“This was a great class. I have only been estimating for three years, and this class showed me that I am doing things correctly and on the right track to succeed.”

Visit under programs to learn more about Estimating Essentials and the other programs your labor and management leaders are creating for union members and the companies they work for.

IUPAT Labor and Management Investing in a Competitive Edge

A strong labor-management partnership in the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades always strives to create and foster and a competitive edge in the industry for IUPAT union companies and labor. A crucial part of that competitive edge for the IUPAT and its industry partners has always been training. Apprentices in the IUPAT are offered the best in training and education in the Finishing Trades through the IUPAT Finishing Trades Institute, but that training doesn’t stop with apprenticeship, it goes well beyond into the careers of our journey workers as well.

An example of labor and management working together to accomplish the above goals is our investment in the Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (AGMT) certification. The IUPAT is working with other industry leaders and manufacturers and the Architectural Glass and Metal Certification Council to create this American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited glazier certification. This third party accreditation by ANSI ensures that testing for the certification remains neutral in the industry.

IUPAT labor and management have been working together to invest and execute the AGMT glazier certification with other industry leaders, including manufacturers, to take the glazing industry to the next level in installation and safety.

“However,” added FTI Director Anton Ruesing. “Our glazing apprenticeship program and our journey worker training definitely give our members a significant advantage when it comes to the certification testing, because our training programs are so advanced.”

The certification test covers glazing theory, quality control, tools of the trade, construction documents and layout, sealants and gaskets, systems and water management. The physical test focuses on proper methods of installing curtainwall, storefront and sealants. Safety skills are also part of the testing.

Beta testing for the AGMT certification has been taking place throughout the United States, including at IUPAT training centers, and our glaziers have a more than 80 percent rate of passing. A great start in taking the industry to the next level. It is going to be an important year for IUPAT glaziers as this certification becomes more widely available in 2019.

Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Names UAW, IUPAT and IUE-CWA Conservation Stewards of the Year

Spring Hill, Tenn. — The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) is proud to announce the recipients of the organization’s prestigious 2018 Conservation Steward of the Year Awards for the United Auto Workers (UAW), International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) and Industrial Division of the Communications Workers of America (IUE-CWA).

IUPAT Business Manager Robert Gilmore.

UAW member Steve Cochran, IUPAT member Robert Gilmore and IUE-CWA member Jeanette Mauk were selected to receive the award on behalf of their unions for exemplary commitment to conservation and community service.

The award recognizes volunteers from each of the USA’s charter unions who have made exceptional contributions to the USA’s efforts to organize union volunteers to donate their time and unique trade skills in the preservation of North America’s outdoor heritage.
Cochran, of Ooltewah, Tennessee, is president of UAW Local 42 and has spearheaded the local’s USA Conservation Dinner fundraiser the past two years. Cochran also led a major overhaul of the Wolftever Creek Boat Ramp on Lake Chickamauga just outside of Chattanooga, in which union volunteers donated labor and $10,000 raised at the dinner to replace a dilapidated dock with a brand-new, 104-foot-long, handicap-accessible floating pier.
“It’s an honor to receive this award and represent the entire UAW as we collectively give back to conservation and our communities,” said Cochran. “We are driven to take on projects that benefit everyone and strengthen the connection between union workers and their neighbors.”
Gilmore, of Dawson, Iowa, is a member of IUPAT Local 246 and serves as business manager and secretary-treasurer of District Council 81. He has led USA fundraising dinners in Des Moines since 2015, raising more than $500,000 in the process and organized conservation projects in the area including the large-scale restoration of a handicap-accessible fishing pier and fishing house at Lake Ahquabi State Park, and construction of a large public shelter at Fort Des Moines State Park. Gilmore also launched an annual shooting event for local union members which benefits USA conservation efforts.
Along with this year’s conservation dinner and shoot, he is planning a public shelter/log cabin project at Yellow Banks County Park and a Get Youth Outdoors event for 2019.
“I am extremely honored to be considered for this award,” said Gilmore. “The success of our local efforts is due to a great group of building trades members working together, and reflects the commitment union members have to giving back to their community. The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance makes it easy for us to join forces for the greater cause of conservation, youth outreach and promoting outdoor recreation.”
Mauk, of Dayton, Ohio, serves as the state’s AFL-CIO Field Director. She is a vested member of the IUE-CWA, which is a USA charter union, and is also a member of the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 98. Mauk has shepherded and grown the USA’s Ohio State Conservation Dinner in Columbus for seven years. She has also organized multiple projects including the installation of a new public fishing pier at Dayton’s Lakeside Lake and Ohio’s first Take Kid’s Fishing Day in Marietta. She is currently planning a youth fishing event to be held in Dayton this May.
“This is awesome,” Mauk said of receiving the award. “It means a lot. But the real rewards of being involved in the labor movement and working with the USA include giving back to our communities, fostering solidarity among union members and building bridges between unions and the public. When you see what can be accomplished when everyone pulls together, it just makes you want to do more.”
“Steve, Robert and Jeanette are dedicated volunteers whose leadership and fundraising efforts help us execute impactful conservation projects and safeguard the future of our outdoor traditions in their local communities and across the country,” said USA CEO and Executive Director Scott Vance.
The Conservation Steward of the Year selection process begins with the nomination of potential recipients by peers or union leadership. From this pool of nominees, USA staff select individuals who have had the greatest impact on the USA’s mission, represented their unions in the most exemplary fashion and made the biggest difference in their local community.
Previous USA Conservation Steward of the Year Award recipients include: Brent Beasley and Mark Conroy, United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers; Dave Branson and Michael Cramer, United Association; Josh Craig, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers; George Hogan, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; and Anthony Nicholson, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators.

UPDATE: LMCI and iFTI Adopt a Family for the Holidays

We exceeded our goal! Thanks to everyone who helped us bring some holiday cheer to a family in need!

It is the time of holiday cheer but, most importantly, it is also the season of giving. The staff of the Painters and Allied Trades LMCI and the International Finishing Trades Institute are working with the House of Ruth Maryland and we are pleased to announce that we have adopted a family of three for Christmas. We will be buying gifts for our family, a mother and her two sons (ages 2 and 15), and we call on others to follow our lead. Or, join us in supporting our family by following the link and instructions below:

All donations will be collected via GoFundMe. Please make your donations anonymous.

Happy Holidays to all and remember that the PATCH Foundation works every day to provide a better life for children in need in North America. Contact your IUPAT district council to learn more on how you can give to your local program.

It’s National Apprenticeship Week – Sec. Acosta Pays a Visit to IUPAT

On Monday, November 12, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta kicked off National Apprenticeship Week by visiting the IUPAT Finishing Trades Institute of District Council 51 in the Washington, DC area to lead a discussion on how apprenticeship can make a difference in a growing economy.

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta (center) leads a panel discussion on apprenticeship with IUPAT leaders, members and guests in Metro Washington, DC.

The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades is holding events at its training centers throughout the United States to show neighbors, local leaders and students how apprenticeship is a path toward a successful professional and personal career.

Learn more about National Apprenticeship Week HERE, and visit this page again this week to see more of what the IUPAT Finishing Trades Institute is doing this week.

LMCI Progress on Growing the IUPAT, Contractor Market Share and Member Well Being

In December 2017, union and business leaders gathered at the LMCI Finishing Industries Forum (FIF) in Las Vegas to form four committees addressing key industry challenges. The collective goal of those four committees was to create a plan that will increase the work IUPAT contractors win, grow the ranks of the union and provide a resource for the men and women of the IUPAT who are facing personal hardships and reaching out for help.

On expanding market share for IUPAT contractors, which means more job opportunities IUPAT members, two committees were formed in the industrial painting and glazing trades.  Since that December FIF, representatives of each committee have met several times to form a plan and put it into action.

Committees formed at the 2017 Finishing Industries Forum continue to meet in 2018 to develop initiatives to grow the IUPAT and expand the market share of union contractors.

The glazing committee surveyed over 1,000 IUPAT glazing contractors across the United States and Canada to identify new opportunities in the sector and the best way to tap into them.  Currently, a research piece based on the survey and contractors interviews is being developed, as well as initial marketing materials to eventually be used by IUPAT glazing contractors to win these new sectors of the industry.

One of the primary goals of the industrial coating and painting committee was to develop web-based marketing materials that can be customized to highlight the local work of IUPAT painters. The committee worked with a company to identify the internet platform for design, and met mid-October for training on how to customize the marketing and information piece. The goal is for IUPAT representatives and organizers to use the system in their efforts to win more work throughout the United States and Canada.

In August, 216 IUPAT contractors and over 2,300 IUPAT members responded to a survey created by the committee formed to address suicide prevention and substance use disorder. The objective of the research was to measure their awareness of local programs and resources available to them to address substance use disorder and mental health issues.

Unfortunately, only nearly two-thirds of contractors, and well under half of the members surveyed were aware of programs available on the district council level to these issues.

In addition to correcting severe lack of awareness of available programs, the committee commissioned a new website that acts as a clearinghouse of information for members and employers to seek help for either themselves, an employee, a friend, or loved ones.

The site,, lists helpline phone numbers, gives the means to locate a local treatment center and provides educational materials to download and post in the workplace or distribute to fellow members.

The International Finishing Trades Institute is also lending a hand by developing curriculum and a peer advocacy program. This training is designed to inform and empower the construction industry by separating fact from fiction and encourage our workforce to choose proactively when it comes to behavioral health issues and addictions. Our goal is to educate individuals, in turn promoting a healthy, safe, and substance free working environment. The first courses are scheduled for late November.

In addition to finding avenues for bring new members to the IUPAT, the recruitment and retention committee has a strong emphasis on retaining those members, and the members we have now. One of the ways they plan on accomplishing this retention is by developing a mentorship program. This program will give young members an experienced member to turn to who, ideally, will help the younger and newer members navigate the challenges of their career and introduce them to the advantages of being union and staying union.

The committee is also developing a program and materials to address teachers, school counselors and principals on school professional developments days. This program will be designed in way that union recruiters can use in any part of the United States and Canada.

Check back for more updates on how IUPAT labor and management are working together to create more work opportunities and a better life for those in the Finishing Trades.

Platform Training Up and Running in IFTI

Platforms are crucial to job safety and effectiveness in bridge painting.  The stability they provide for painters often hundreds of feet in the air over ground or water give the men and women steady footing and security so they can return home safely. That same stability allows painters to work faster because they can stage equipment and other materials necessary to get the job done near them throughout the job.

In July, the International Finishing Trades hosted two leading companies in platform systems to hold a train the trainer course for IUPAT instructors – SafeSpan and Safway.

Representatives from each company not only put the IUPAT instructors through hands on training on the IFTI Training Center floor, they received in-depth classroom training and curriculum materials to take back to their councils as well.

Class attendees found the course on erecting these platform systems to be invaluable to their work. “It’s a skill that’s very valuable,” said Joe Dreher of District Council 5/Local Union 300 in Seattle.  “It’s always nice to know that the platform you’re working is one that you built. You know everything about it. It’s a confidence booster.”

Platform training will continue in 2019 for IUPAT instructors at the IFTI, while those who have already completed the course will holding classes of their own in their district councils in the months to come.