NGA's Third Annual Glass & Glazing Advocacy Days: Key Outcomes and Policy Updates

37 members gather to talk directly with legislators and stakeholders in DC for NGA Glass & Glazing Advocacy Days 2024
Photo source
www.glass.org

Date: 17 May 2024

Industry members educate Congressional representatives about the fundamental role of glass and fenestration.

The National Glass Association’s third annual Glass & Glazing Advocacy Days has concluded. Association staff joined industry leaders to advocate for glass and fenestration systems on Capitol Hill. Together, industry members made the case for these systems as sustainable, eco-friendly building products that can provide needed security, and need to be manufactured and installed by a well-trained workforce.  

GLASS & GLAZING ADVOCACY DAYS BY THE NUMBERS 

  • 41 meetings with Congressional representatives 
  • Industry members representing 20 states 

UPDATES ON OUR POLICY PRIORITIES: 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT. 

Advocacy Day participants met with Senator Bernie Sanders’ office, as Sanders chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). Jenni Chase, vice president of workforce development at NGA, made the case with Sanders’ office staff to encourage the passing of a Senate bill similar to H.R. 6655: A Stronger Workforce for America Act, which increases funding to train and upskill workers (the bill passed in the House of Representatives). Chase underlined the importance for the legislation’s creation of individual training accounts, which allow individual workers to pay for education. 

“We need to give potential employees access to tools to get trained,” said Advocacy Days participant Rick Locke, who is also chair-elect of NGA and owner/president of Montana Sash & Door.  

Sanders’ staff was receptive, and said that though the Senate will “put [its] stamp on it,” they expect more information about a Senate version of the bill in the coming weeks. Youth workforce development is especially a priority for Senator Sanders, they said. 

SCHOOL SECURITY.

Securing schools from forced entry remains a major issue in the U.S. Advocacy Day participants made the case that glazing products can help harden school buildings and delay entry of an attacker, buying crucial time to allow first responders to arrive.  

Advocacy Day participants spoke with the office of Senator Marsha Blackburn, who introduced Senate Bill 1107: Securing Aid for Every School Act, which allocates funds for school safety and security. Katie Lane, Blackburn’s chief counsel, said the bill is a “bipartisan solution to harden schools, and can save children’s lives.”  

HIGH-PERFORMANCE GLAZING.

Advocacy Day participants also made the case to extend the Section 48 tax credit of the Internal Revenue Code that incentivizes the use of electrochromic glass, and also expand the definition of the section to include other of the many high-performance glazing options.  

Speaking to Senator Mitt Romney’s office, Advocacy Days participant Helen Sanders, general manager of Technoform Glass, explained that heat pumps – which receive more incentives than fenestration – require high-performance glazing to effectively reduce heating and cooling loads of buildings, underlining the need to incentivize the use of high-performance glazing to achieve energy-efficient buildings. 

BIRD-FRIENDLY GLAZING.

Bird-friendly glazing can help prevent the nearly 600 million bird deaths that happen each year due to glass collisions. Advocacy Day participants spoke with the office of Representative Morgan Griffith, who introduced the Federal Bird Safe Buildings Act in 2023 – the legislation would require bird-safe glass be installed in new General Services Administration buildings. Advocacy Day participant Lori Ann Benish, general manager of Enclosures Unlimited, said that industry members are ultimately looking for a “more unified code” regarding bird-friendly glazing, so that these products can become “more affordable and readily available.” 

NGA thanks its hospitality sponsors for the event: Kuraray, Vitro and Guardian.

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