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DC14 Apprenticeship Program – Crain’s Chicago Business


The Glaziers Union Local #27 Apprenticeship Program, located in Lyons, IL, is part of the DC14 Apprenticeship Program consisting of the Glazing, Painting, Drywall Finishing and Signage and Wood and Metal Finishing trades.

As a Registered Apprenticeship with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship, we recognize the need for structured training to maintain the high level of skill and competence demanded in the Glazing and Architectural Metal Industry. Our three-year registered apprenticeship provides the most practical and sound method to meet that need. It prepares members to be skilled journey workers, and to ensure our signatory contractors have access to the industry’s most rigorously trained and safety conscious workers.


We provide training to apprentice and journeymen glaziers on the installation of all types of glass and architectural metal systems. Examples include:

  • Storefront, curtainwall and unitized glass systems
  • Glass, aluminum and automatic doors and their opening/closing mechanisms
  • Glass railings
  • Skylight systems
  • Shower doors
  • Mirrors
  • Photovoltaic glass (enables conversion of light into energy)

We provide industry-leading safety training and AWS Certified Welding, NCCCO Certified Rigging and Signaling and AGMT Certified Glazing Technician.


Your glazing career begins with a three-year apprenticeship, spending one day every two weeks in school and the rest onsite—all while learning the fundamentals of the trade, earning an increasing percentage of full-scale journeyman wages as your apprenticeship continues. Union glaziers also receive health and welfare and pension benefits. Some members complete their careers as journeyperson glaziers, while others become foremen, project managers, superintendents or start their own glazing companies. There are also opportunities for district council positions, local officers or apprenticeship instructors.


Our glaziers work on Chicagoland’s premiere skyscrapers, retail, residential and office spaces. Their skills also decorate the city’s marquee stadiums, museums and theaters.


Kenneth O'Donnell 

Kenneth O’Donnell

Apprentice Coordinator/Instructor / 14 years as an instructor 24 years in the field


As a coordinator, I’m responsible for the administration, supervision and training of glazing apprentices and journeymen according to our Standards of Apprenticeship and the rules and regulations of our program. As an instructor. I provide classroom as well as hands-on instruction for all aspects of the glazing trade. This considerable training includes the skills-based elements of blueprint reading, layout, layout instruments, glass cutting and fabrication, understanding the complete range of glass systems, mirrors, sealants, handrails, door hardware and site-specific rigging and signaling. It also entails a comprehensive array of safety instruction, whether specific to a given installation task, material handling or job site. A good journeyperson has learned to function as seamlessly on their own as they do part of a crew because of their shared understanding and training.


As a third-generation glazier, Glaziers Union Local 27 has had a great impact on my life. Many of my family members have had the fortune of enjoying union benefits. Starting as an apprentice. I was able to reap the rewards of a well-paying job with excellent benefits. I trained to become a journeyman, a foreman and then a superintendent for one of our contractors. Being chosen as an apprentice instructor was a great honor. Training apprentices is a way for me to pay forward future generations of glaziers what I have learned from my own training, on the job experience and shared knowledge of all the members I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside. Success for the glazing and architectural metal industry and our union is dependent on being able to supply our contractors with a highly-skilled and highly-motivated work force. I’m very thankful to be part of that path

to success.



You need an ability to lift 70 pounds, work at heights from scaffolds and ladders, follow instructions and pay attention to detail. Your apprenticeship coordinator career starts by passing a written math aptitude test to apply as an apprentice with DC14’s Glaziers Local 27 and successfully graduating to journeyperson status. You’ll spend several years as a journeyperson, becoming proficient in all aspects of the trade. You would apply for and serve as an instructor at the training facility prior to applying for a coordinator position where you’ll switch from primarily teaching to administrative aspects.


Blueprint reading, sealant application, layout, various system installation procedures and glass handling, all of which you are taught through apprenticeship. For the instructor/coordinator roles you need basic computer and organizational skills and have an aptitude for teaching/explaining your craft–often displayed through successive positive mentorships.

For more information, contact Kenneth O’Donnell, apprentice coordinator/instructor | 708-443-9000


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