The International Window Cleaning Association is building the window cleaning industry through providing a valuable network of educational channels, training, networking and advocacy for our members.
The International Window Cleaning Association (IWCA) was formed in 1989 with the purposes of promoting safety and education for window cleaners, as well as enhancing professionalism throughout the industry. Over the past 24 years the IWCA has provided a wide array of tools and mechanisms through which its members have been able to grow startup companies as well as being a continuing resource for companies of all ages and sizes. The IWCA holds an Annual Convention and Trade Show each February which brings a collection of extremely relevant educational topics along with the very best of industry tools, equipment and services on display at the Trade Show.
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Since the window cleaning industry has so many considerations for safety education and safety compliance, the IWCA has developed a comprehensive program to help window cleaners be safe and stay safe. The Association offers live safety training courses which are conducted across the country to facilitate attendance from different markets. The courses are comprised of a half day of classroom education for all window cleaners followed by a hands-on session which teaches partner and self-rescue techniques for window cleaners that work at height. Additionally, in the hands-on session, we provide orientation for aerial lifts and ladder safety.
The IWCA also has a certification program for window cleaners of all pursuits:
- Commercial ground-based
- Rope descent systems
- Suspended scaffold
- High rise specialist
The IWCA Certification Program is a valuable educational tool that helps keep companies safe, working more effectively and in compliance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The IWCA has developed an OSHA Alliance which has produced awareness, educational programs and bulletins. Our most recent bulletin is a Spanish translation of a water-fed pole bulletin that was introduced a few years ago. This is a valuable and necessary tool for many employers in the window cleaning industry.
As with any trade, knowledge about the products one works with is essential. The IWCA continues to educate members about glass. There are so many technical issues to recognize when working on or around glass. IWCA has provided voluminous educational papers and bulletins which not only help window cleaners understand how to work safely and proficiently, but also help them communicate more effectively with their customers which, in turn, helps build business.
The IWCA has a cooperative relationship with the Glass Association of North America (GANA), which provides a conduit to keeping window cleaners aware of technological advances in the glass industry as well as “best practices” for cleaning and maintaining glass. These are essential pieces of information for operating a top-notch window cleaning company in today’s very competitive and technology-driven market.
We all know, whether an economy is thriving or struggling, that having solid business practices is what will make a business successful. As mentioned before, our Annual Convention provides some of the best opportunities to learn from industry professionals who are successful, along with speakers from technical and product-specific expertise.
In speaking with countless members who have attended the Convention and Trade Show over the years, the most common feedback received is that they wished they had more time to digest it all. Another invaluable benefit from attending the annual event is the networking. There are the anticipated discussions with the people “in the know,” but some of the most memorable and useful discussions come from the new faces you meet.
Another resource available to IWCA members is the IWCA website. In the “Member Only” section, there are dozens of resources that address issues including safety training, procedures and compliance, human resources, customer letters, marketing, business development and an employee handbook template. The website also features an interactive tool, Yourmembership.com, which enables members to stay abreast of the latest news of the Association while building their company profiles which promote them through thousands of searches conducted on the site every month.
The IWCA is interactive with numerous other trade and professional associations that have mutual interests and concerns. We are building the window cleaning industry through providing a valuable network of educational channels, training, networking and advocacy for our members. The IWCA will continue to be the leading voice for window cleaning professionals and we invite you to join our Association.
Visit us at www.IWCA.org where you can see the benefits that will save your business money and time. And plan to join us for the 2014 Convention and Trade Show celebrating the organization’s 25th anniversary at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, from February 12-15.
Jack Evans is the President of the International Window Cleaning Associations and has served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Board for the past six years. As President of 20/20 Window Cleaning of North Carolina, Jack is recognized for his expertise in field operations, safety compliance and training, as well as sales and bidding.