Installation Training Program Started in Oregon

January 1, 2008
Organizations

With the backing of the Window & Door Coalition of Oregon, a new organization of window and door manufacturers and dealers, Mt. Hood Community College and SWD Training Institute have launched the Pacific Northwest Window & Door Industry Training Program. Designed to help address a shortage of skilled workers—and the resulting problems of improperly installed windows, service headaches and liability issues—for builders, dealers and manufacturers, the program is being spearheaded by Keith Strand of Strand Windows & Doors based in Portland, Ore.

Strand started in the industry in 1998, working for a number of companies before launching his own window and door dealer operation in 2001. Certified under the InstallationMasters program developed by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Strand has also participated in numerous manufacturer-sponsored training programs. Seeing a need to decrease liability issues and increase performance and quality throughout all aspects of the industry, Strand contacted Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore., at the beginning of last year. “With the help of MHCC and their customized workforce training department, a curriculum was developed, a training plan organized and marketing and other components began to fall into place: SWD Training Institute was born,” he reports. (The SWD name derives from the name of his business).

“Word of the class spread and interest within the industry was high,” Strand continues. “The training began to serve as common ground for several companies throughout the region, and a loose coalition began to take shape and developed into the Window and Door Coalition of Oregon.” WDOC participants currently include representatives from Milgard Windows & Doors, Parr Co., Everclear Windows, LbL Windows, Empire Pacific Windows, DSC Window Fashions, Suburban Doors, Glass Doctor, Portland Sash & Door and Joe’s Glass.

In addition to industry support, Strand notes that the region’s Workforce Investment Board is assisting WDCO to fund the training, recruit participants from outside the industry, organize a regional and state-recognized portable training credential and coordinate post-training job placement efforts.

“What started as a small effort to improve quality within the industry has grown into a grassroots movement to unite and promote the window and door industry in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington,” Strand concludes. More information about the WDOC and the training program is available by contacting him at ke.strand@comcast.net.