When I started working in the door and hardware industry in 1986, I went to the School of Hard Knocks, and I’ll bet many of you attended that same unofficial training program. As my career progressed, I was fortunate to attend the DHI schools and achieve my AHC and CDC certifications, but in the meantime it was sink or swim and learn from my mistakes. Back then it felt like in order to be a hardware consultant/specwriter, I had to first spend at least 30 years learning what to do – and what not to do.
Fast-forward 10 years or so, and I was working for the New England rep agency for Von Duprin and LCN. We wanted to help speed up the learning process for our customers, so we created the Basic Training program, and taught it many times over the years. With this 6-week program, we tried to “take the hard out of hardware”, and help people who were new to the industry get started. One benefit of this program was that our customers knew that they could hire someone who didn’t have a lot of experience, and send them to us for training.
Since then I have participated in many different training sessions – factory training, courses on electrified hardware, AIA, CSI, and DHI presentations, and of course – code classes. During the pandemic, I trained 3,300 people online from my home office. You have probably heard me mention one of my favorite groups to teach, the members of our Specification Writers Apprentice Program (SWAP) and our Sales Development Program (SDP). I just spent some time with our current cohort in July, and posted about it here on iDigHardware (here’s one post, and another).
I have worked with these early career program members for quite a few years, and I love their energy, engagement, and willingness to learn about something that they probably never thought about prior to starting the interview process with Allegion. I’m excited about participating in a program that has brought dozens of people into the industry, and I think it’s fantastic to have an alternative to 30 years of attendance at the School of Hard Knocks.
We’re currently searching for the next cohort for our Sales Development and Specification Writer Apprentice Programs. Do you know someone who is graduating from college in May 2024? To learn more about these opportunities, click here to see the available positions or check out the video below.