Terry Webb’s career began as an apprentice. After attending college and deciding he wanted to run his own business, Terry was encouraged by a mentor to learn the Glazier’s (commercial glass & architectural metal installer) trade from the field installation perspective, so he could better understand the craft. He heeded that advice and rode his apprenticeship experience to the top of Eureka Metal and Glass, a well-respected fabricator/installer of commercial interior and exterior glass. Eureka has worked on several notable properties including the Comcast Technology Center, The Beacon by Pearl, and the forthcoming Boyd redevelopment in Center City.
With 40+ years of leadership involvement in skilled trade programs, Terry utilized his experience as a apprentice to guide his approach to mentoring young people. He sums up his thoughts about apprenticeships with a simple moniker – “Done isn’t necessarily done right” – and believes that formalized training programs are the key to keeping the wisdom of previous generations alive and well in the eyes of young people.
Apprenticeship programs are ultimately about the final product. As a business owner, I need workers who can ensure safety on the job site and for the general public, customer satisfaction, knowledge of right versus wrong, and a global awareness of the job beyond just fabricating and installing. We are training workers to think independently and problem solve on the job, not just perform the task at hand.
Terry uses his own shop as a veritable pre-apprenticeship program, bringing in young people to learn the basics of the job from experienced workers, while they await entrance into the formal Glaziers Registered Apprenticeship program that is housed at the nearby Finishing Trades Institute of the Mid-Atlantic Region. He has also served as a Trustee to the Glaziers Registered Apprenticeship program for over 20 years, where he helped to align the program with nation-wide building standards. This work has resulted in the program receiving a 1st in US distinction as being accredited by the US Department of Education as a post-secondary (collegiate) institution.
Over the past 5 years, Terry has been working with others to build a certification of contractors and craftsmen via an ANSI / ISO process, which has never been accomplished before. These certifications ensure a robust quality assurance program is in place for the contractor, which is affirmed via 3rd party annual audits on site and in office. The craftsmen certification affirms the hands on skills and knowledge to produce a quality installation in concert with manufacturer’s installation instructions.
The superior apprenticeship program, contractor certification, and craft worker certification in unison bring quality outcomes to the customer in manner that has no equal in the construction industry. Having personally overseen some 50+ apprentices through his own company, its clear Terry believes in the power of training and education. He views apprenticeships as an economic staircase for those who have the desire and drive to enter into and complete the program, and as a valuable tool for the skilled trades to continue to thrive and build a more diverse workforce.