Setting It Straight

You may have been hearing about Auto Glass University this past year and the school has plans for the future. Although I do not use my blog as a means to market any endeavor, to avoid any misconceptions, I want to make sure everyone in the industry knows who we are and what we do.

First, a little history may be in order. In January of 2010, for my company Automotive Glass Consultants, I developed and wrote an online training program at www.AutoGlassUniversity.com. Auto Glass University (AGU) first went online live in January of that year. The purpose of this training course was to present in one place a current, unbiased and easily to update automotive glass training course that is accessible from anywhere. It can be used as the foundation for internal training programs, as a study guide for certification, or by academics and anyone else with a desire to know about the art of automotive glass installation. Auto Glass University is solely my trademarked product.

Based on the materials we assembled for the online site (and with the invaluable writing expertise of my talented wife and business partner Ann Schuelke) in 2011 we wrote and published the textbook, “The Complete Guide to Auto Glass Installation.” We felt the book would open up another avenue to present the automotive glass curriculum at an adult level of education.

Obviously, though, we all know that automotive glass installation cannot be completely taught by book learning. You must experience the use of tools to master them, feel the release of a molding from its clip and smell the chemical odor of primers, cleaners and adhesives. Without this practice, it is not possible to attain true competence at the technician level. I know this and you know this.

It has become increasingly clear that the industry needs a hands-on training “school” through which aspiring entrepreneurs and entry-level automotive glass technicians can learn the art of installation. So, when I was approached by Eric Asbery of Equalizer Industries with a proposal with that idea in mind, I felt it had real merit. Equalizer offered their beautiful training facility in Austin, Texas, as a location to hold week-long classes with a curriculum based on our book. Thus was born Auto Glass University Powered by Equalizer (AGU hands-on for short) in 2013. Gilbert Gutierrez and Jason Horne, who many of you know from Equalizer, are certified instructors for the school. We are adding additional certified instructors as the program expands.

Eric Asbery and I agreed on one thing from the beginning. Our curriculum, based on the AGU format, must have the absolute reputation of unbiased education without the hint of commercialism. It is to Eric’s great credit that not only was this his desire as well, he made sure that concept was clearly understood by all his employees affiliated with our project.

Eric’s commitment to be an unbiased source of training is so strong that we hold a “Vendor Night” during each training session. At each Auto Glass University class, Equalizer hosts tool makers and suppliers from all over the industry to showcase and demonstrate their products, including his direct competitors. Eric and his organization put money and an immense amount of effort in helping us make sure the school was one that the industry could be proud of. “Auto Glass University, Powered by Equalizer” is named perfectly because it describes the relationship exactly the way it is, education first and industry support second.

AGU will never deviate from its core of unbiased education. During the hours of instruction, there will be nothing but practical instruction. If the names of specific products are mentioned, it will be for illustration purposes only. There are no favorites at AGU, just partners with a common goal of safe, quality automotive glass installation. Promotional events or offers after the day’s instruction or at breaks can be very informational to students new to the industry but they are completely optional to the students.

In the coming months, we plan to expand AGU to other regions of the country to make the program more affordable to those students who may not be close to Texas. You will see other industry sponsors, supporters and benefactors named in relation to AGU. These friends know that our future as an automotive glass replacement industry is dependent on the training and education available to our future leaders.

I hope this clears up any questions concerning AGU and AGU Powered by Equalizer. If not, feel free to contact me. I look forward to your feedback.