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W&D Weekly
January 7, 2015
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The Latest
On Display: 2015 IBS Product Preview

The 2015 International Builders Show, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center Jan. 20-22, will feature more than 1,000 of the housing industry’s top manufacturers and suppliers showcasing their latest and most innovative products. Window & Door rounded up an exclusive preview of the products from window and door manufacturers exhibiting at the show. See the products...


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Product Spotlight
Marbella Steel Entry Door by GlassCraft

GlassCraft Door Co. introduces the new Marbella steel door design as part of its Buffalo Forge steel entry door product line. The grille designs are made of premium quality artisan-crafted real wrought iron grilles mounted on GlassCraft's 14-gauge steel entry doors. GlassCraft also added new door configurations to the Buffalo Forge product line, including the 3/4 Lite Square Top single doors in both 3 feet by 8 feet and 3 feet 6 inches by 8 feet sizes. GlassCraft's Buffalo Forge steel entry doors are windstorm rated and available in five glass texture options, including ocean, reeds, rain, ice flower and clear.

Does your Company Keep Employees Motivated During the Holiday Season?

More than half of respondents to last week's poll reported that their companies do keep up the momentum during the festive season. See the complete survey results...

The Talk

By Emily Kay Thompson

In a recent Talk from last month, we started a discussion on the labor issue—that is, the lack of qualified candidates for work in this industry. More than 70 percent of poll participants reported that they cannot find skilled laborers to hire. We received some more insight on the subject, and it seems that the topic has yet to be exhausted, so we’ll finish it here.

We received a good bit of feedback on the first post on the labor issue. I encourage you to read Dana Partridge’s summation of a New York Times article that “articulates and explains this phenomenon,” as well as commenters Marc and Elton's responses to the topic. (See the comments at the bottom of this page.)

In addition to these comments, reader Mark Wright of the The Wright Consulting Group wrote to me in regard to the subject, agreeing that there is a noted shortage of sufficient applicants. He shared that he used to give a tape measure test to potential hires, which more than 90 percent of the applicants could not pass. “In almost all cases, they could not even use deductive reasoning to determine that each inch was divided into 16ths. We also kept a list of all the misspellings we saw on applications.”  

Wright goes on to make the point that it’s not just a lack of talent, though. “The help issue also relates to the industry’s infatuation with continuing to pay low starting wages. When you source from the $8.50 to $10 end of the labor pool, you need to have low expectations. [That wage] leaves little to pay rent, car payment, car insurance and food. In many cases young employees have to share an apartment and ride share,” he stresses. “The additional challenge is that most of these people can get a job at Burger King or McD’s for $8.50 per hour for 30 hours a week.”

Wright also agreed with Jennifer Lawler’s reasoning that adding shop class back into the high school mix would help. But, he makes the point that it doesn’t cure additional issues, such as “the ability to collect unemployment as well as the ability to collect worker compensation for a minor (or faked) injury, particularly in our state, which is pro-plaintiff in workers’ comp cases.”

How do you think the rate of compensation plays into the labor equation? Do you find you have the resources to hire and keep the worthy applicants out there? Weigh in on this week’s poll, post a comment and/or send me an email.
Do you offer competitive wages to new employees?
We offer minimum wage to new employees and do not often offer raises.
We typically start new hires at minimum wage, but offer opportunities for raises.
We typically pay above minimum wage for new hires.
We are willing to pay more than $10/hour for a good candidate.
We offer more than a $10/hour wage, plus competitive benefits.
The Outside View
Glass Suppliers Decrease Surcharges
From Glass Magazine
Looking Back: 2014 Green Building Trends
Brought to you by the National Glass Association, publisher of Window & Door and

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