April '21

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9 8 G R A P H I C S P R O A P R I L 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M FOR MORE EDUCATIONAL TIPS, TRICKS, Q&A, AND VIDEOS, CHECK OUT Despite the lack of in-person training last year, there were plenty of available on- line resources that simulated this training. e GPX Breakaway sessions covered a wide variety of topics and allowed view- ers to listen in and ask industry experts questions. TRAINING CLASSES I already mentioned that the in-person training class and certication class I took was one of the best decisions I made, so I wanted to explore some of the training options available. Now that many courses are opening back up, it's a perfect time to explore these sources and nd the right one for you. I remember we kicked around the idea of taking a training class for years before we nally decided to commit. So, what was the hold-up? e closest class was over ve hours away (for some people, it was a ight away), which meant I would have to stay in the city for the entire ve days I needed to train and test. I would also be out of our shop for those f ive days, not getting any work done. We had to also consider the cost—not only did we have to pay for the training, but I also wanted to do the testing. Add in the price of the hotel, gas to drive there (or ight and car rental for some), and cost of food, and it's a hefty amount. But we also had to commit to our busi- ness itself—to look at areas that we need- ed to improve in, consider ways that be- coming a preferred installer would help our business grow, and accept a change in mindset. We had already been in busi- ness for over 20 years when I took the training and testing. Despite feeling like I had a lot of hands-on experience, I knew that I lacked condence in my methods because I had never compared them to tried-and-tested techniques taught by in- dustry experts. Once you've committed to taking a training class and possibly testing as well, it's time to consider your class options. Since we primarily use 3M media in our s hop, w e k ne w t h at we wanted to ta ke a cla ss of- fered through 3M be- cause they explore material properties in classroom education. You also get to work with dierent media types during the hands-on training. But note that there are plenty of other class- es available. If you want to expand your installa- tion knowledge into areas beyond vehi- cles, like walls, oors, windows, or archi- tectural nishes, then look for courses that oer training in these specic areas as well. Our shop primarily oers com- mercial wraps, but we provide partial col- or change wraps and are interested in im- proving our speed and quality using color change media. A few other considerations when choos- ing a class include class options for begin- ner to advanced installers, courses that of- fer testing if you want to be certied, as well as courses that are available in nearby cities. e cost of the classes themselves is relatively similar, but will, of course, need to be taken into account. Training classes provide hands-on opportunities to practice install techniques with a variety of media types.

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