By Karen Edwards, RCS Editor.
After Korellis Roofing sent us some photos of their crews learning in the company’s new training center, we wanted to know more about this great idea. We had a great phone conversation with Dan Stella, Korellis’ workforce development manager, who was hired to run the training center and ensure that the company has the highest skilled workers available.
Stella explained that Korellis Roofing is a union shop and their apprentices don’t often have as much opportunity to learn and install roof details while in the field. By creating the training center and his position as workforce development manager, the apprentices get the chance to learn and practice installing detail work that is often done in the field by the more experienced journeymen.
The facility was created after the company moved its offices into another building on the property. Their first training was held on May 24, and they have held regular trainings since opening the center. Stella says they take advantage of inclement weather when they can’t work out in the field by having the apprentices come into the training center to learn and practice their skills.
The first session held was CERTA training. Stella had taken the NRCA’s Train the Trainer course so he was authorized to teach and certify some crew members not certified in the torch-down work required for a job installation. By performing the CERTA training in the center, Korellis was able to assign more certified torch applicators on the project and complete it ahead of schedule.
Before the company started a Spanish clay tile job, they were able to prepare for it by roofing the steep slope deck in the training center and bringing in Keith Huebner, a local 11 apprenticeship trainer, to assist. Not only was it a good learning experience for the apprentices, it was a nice refresher for the more experienced team as well.
Stella said that the team really appreciates the training opportunities. “I’ll talk to the foreman to see who needs help in what areas and plan related trainings,” said Stella. “In some cases, the workers will reach out to me to ask for help in specific areas that they want to learn more about."
The plan behind establishing the training facility is to help the roofing jobs be more efficient and smooth. “Practice makes perfect and the training center allows for the roofers to be in a comfortable learning environment,” explained Stella. “By learning inside, they aren’t subject to the pressures of trying to learn in the field while still keeping the job on schedule.”