YKK AP America Launches Career Development Program

YKK AP America has launched a formal career development program for its existing and future engineering employees. The program provides a clear and objective means by which engineers can foster personal and professional development, as well as grow within the company and the fenestration industry.

The engineering program adds to a series of existing, successful employee development programs in customer service and field sales disciplines. The YKK AP sales career development program was launched with the goal of having the highest-quality sales professionals in the façade industry. Like the sales development program, the engineering program sets clearly defined requirements for employees to grow within their current role by demonstrating success, mastering a specific skillset, personal experience, exposure, and through independent learning and certification.

“Every engineer at YKK AP understands their current competencies and proficiencies and now has a clear vision and path to foster continual learning and personal development over a lifetime career with YKK AP, ” said Oliver Stepe, senior vice president, YKK AP America. “It is our goal to recruit and retain the best engineers in the construction industry and the engineering career development program is a solid step in that direction.”

A keystone to the program is the inclusion of independent certifications, among which the company has established a minimum certification requirement for all engineers to become a FenestrationAssociate under the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) FenestrationMasters program. Depending on individual career plans and personal goals, engineers can stop at the FenestrationAssociate level certification or continue to certify as a more advanced level FenestrationMaster.

Additional career path certification options for advancement include credentials from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Construction Specifications Institute as well as Engineer in Training (EIT) and Professional Engineer (PE) credentials.

“We applaud YKK AP for establishing AAMA’s FenestrationMasters program as the foundation for their engineering curriculum,” said Rich Walker, president and CEO of AAMA. “We developed this coursework and certification program with the goal of educating professionals on topics covering the full breadth of the fenestration industry. As a member of AAMA for more than 20 years, YKK AP has a long list of significant contributions for both the association and the industry. Their career development program is just another example of forethought and innovation that will lead to an exceptionally knowledgeable workforce.”

The key to the program’s success is its use of progressive levels within the job function allowing employees the opportunity to take on new responsibilities within their current role while developing their competencies in other engineering disciplines.

“The beauty of this program is you don’t have to wait for a vacancy in order to grow at our company. You need to do a good job, push outside your comfort zone, evolve your skills and capabilities, and you will be recognized,” Stepe said. “Continuous learning and personal motivation will enable any engineer to progress and advance at YKK AP America.”

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