SCGMA Architectural Glass Boot Camp Recap – USC School of Architecture


On February 17th, after missing a couple of years due to COVID-19 restrictions, Southern California Glass Management Association (SCGMA) and District Council 36 Local Union 636 hosted another successful Architectural Glass Boot Camp for the USC School of Architecture students at our new Finishing Trades Institute of Southern California Apprenticeship Training Center in Commerce, CA, which features tens of thousands of square footage to be able to accommodate all of the District Council 36 trades under one roof.

Typically, our Architectural Glass Boot Camp curriculum includes the construction of a variety of different glazing systems, which the students are able to take with them following the event, as well as introductions to glazing machinery and equipment. Our mini storefront pieces from previous boot camps have also been used to showcase USC students’ work on campus and at local conferences. However, this session and future sessions over the next couple of years, will serve a special purpose. USC is involved in a project at Joshua Tree National Park, creating an outdoor educational facility to be used by young students for decades to come. The curtainwall panels created during our Architectural Glass Boot Camps will eventually be installed on site at Joshua Tree National Park.

Our day began as usual, with a presentations and open discussions on safety and personal protection equipment (PPE), some of the glazing basics, the history of glass, and glass fabrication, the evolution of the façade systems,  the role of a glazier, and more. After a quick tour of the new facility, we got down to some serious business – hands-on façade fabrication! USC students and faculty geared up in their SCGMA provided PPE and split up into four teams to get started on their projects. Each team had two upper-level glazing apprentices leading students throughout the entire process while answering any questions students had along the way. After a few hours of hard work and dedication, the façades were complete and they came out perfectly!

Once the workspaces were cleaned up, students learned how to cut glass. Each student had a turn at cutting a small piece of glass and while not every cut was successful, it didn’t shatter their experience (pun intended). Last but not least, we ended the day with a brief crane demonstration. It was the perfect ending to an educational, fun day.

We’d like to give a huge thank you to Doug Noble, Professor and Associate Dean at USC School of Architecture, for continuously prioritizing glazing education, collaboration, and open communication between industry stakeholders. We’re thrilled to be able to start up our Architectural Glass Boot Camps again and are so grateful to partner with USC for their Joshua Tree project.

And as always, thank you to our Union partners at District Council 36 Local Union 636 and our Apprenticeship Training Center team and apprentices, for their constant commitment, support and efforts to make this all possible.

Click here to view all the photos from the event.

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