To the uninitiated, roofing might first seem like a difficult and laborious, but mostly simple job. After all, it is just removing and replacing shingles, right? But the process is a lot more complicated than simply laying down new materials. Finishing a resilient, high-quality roof for a business or residence takes experience, knowledge, and skills that can take years to master.
Korellis Roofing is one of the largest roofing companies in Northwest Indiana, but they never outsource their jobs to subcontractors. Their union tradespeople complete a four-year apprenticeship program that offers industry-leading training opportunities, including a dedicated training center at Korellis headquarters. The facility features multiple simulated roofs where Korellis roofers can practice and learn.
“We start with the basics and work our way up, in conjunction with training offered by our signatory unions,” said Dan Stella, Workforce Development Manager for Korellis Roofing. “We also have our journeymen and veteran roofers come in if they need practice or a refresher.”
The roofing industry is always advancing, just like any other, and the training facility offers Korellis roofers a chance to learn and get familiar with new tools in a safe, practical environment.
“It’s great for anyone who needs any type of practice, not just our new employees,” Stella said. “A lot of the time, some of these products will be new even for me. With our training facility, we don’t need to be learning out on the job.”
The newest addition to the training facility is an actual rooftop practice area, elevated and exposed to the elements unlike the training stages on the inside of the building.
“The facilities on the interior are great, but you just can’t replicate real weather,” Stella said. “With rooftop training, when it’s cold you can actually show how to keep your tools and equipment at the right temperature. When the sun is shining, you can teach how to handle adhesives drying out faster.”
Safety is the most important aspect of any job for Korellis, and the new rooftop training area lets apprentices practice with all the necessary techniques and tools to keep themselves, their coworkers, and customers safe. It all comes together to provide an environment where it is okay to learn from making mistakes.
“After I teach the new employees, I’ll sit back, watch how they do, and tell them that it’s okay to make mistakes,” Stella said. “That’s why this facility is here – to make our employees professionals before they’re out in the field.”
Stella cultivated an environment where new hires and veterans alike are comfortable asking questions, allowing every team member to learn what it takes to exceed customer expectations every time.
“Hires will always call me up and ask questions,” he said. “It’s nice that they appreciate the training services and as an added bonus – they get paid for their training!” To learn more about Korellis Roofing and their current job opportunities, visit korellis.com.