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Penn College students certified as vinyl siding installers

Twenty-nine construction students at Pennsylvania College of Technology have earned Certified Installer status from the Vinyl Siding Institute, the first to receive the value-added credential under the institution’s fledgling partnership with the trade association.

“This will be another tool in your toolbox,” Rob Balfanz, VSI’s director of workforce development, told the inaugural class at a Sept. 2 ceremony in the Student & Administrative Services Center. “You’re not only building your portfolio, you’re also building your future.”

Rob Balfanz, the Vinyl Siding Institute’s director of workforce development, presents certification documents to Daun Williamson, a building construction technology major from Linden, during a Sept. 2 ceremony at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Williamson is among 29 Penn College students who attained Certified Installer status.
Rob Balfanz, the Vinyl Siding Institute’s director of workforce development, presents certification documents to Daun Williamson, a building construction technology major from Linden, during a Sept. 2 ceremony at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Williamson is among 29 Penn College students who attained Certified Installer status.

The students who attained certification, their majors and hometowns are:

Building construction technology
Nate M. Carsley, Elverson; Dan M. Cassel, Danville; David M. Collazo, Monroe, N.J.; Naaman T. Conoway, Loganton; Karson J. Felty, Pine Grove; Zhaire Gregory, Philadelphia; Boyd C. Heckman, Duncannon; Mason J. Koch, Glen Mills; Zeke R. Leonard, Bedford; Sam H. Maxwell, West Point, N.Y.; Jake R. McClure, Pottsville; Keegan J. McNeal, Monroeton; Kaden M. Park, Summerville; Lizeth V. Reyes-Becerra, Erie; Vincent C. Rizzo, Williamsport; Damein J. Roupp, Columbia Cross Roads; Liam T. Ryan, Malvern; Cody B. Seidel, Tyrone; Brett C. Sherkel, Smithmill; Luis Torres Jr., Lancaster; Blake S. Truax, Williamsport, Md.; and Daun Williamson, Linden.

Construction management
Philip W. Weiner, Newark, Del.

Residential construction technology and management
Chris M. Fink, Altoona; Matt M. Johnson, Phoenixville; Ryan J. Koubek, Annandale, N.J.; Georgia L. Macensky, Wellsboro; Ryan M. Madigan, Warren; and Christian Stoltz, State College.

The certification, which lasts five years, reflects skills and standards taught in Penn College’s Weather Resistant Barriers and Finishes course.

Peter Kruppenbacher, assistant professor of building construction technology and organizer of the certification ceremony, said the college’s relationship with VSI was cultivated by former instructor Robert P. Gresko. Gresko, who retired during the 2020-21 academic year, returned to campus to attend the event with a number of faculty colleagues and administrators.

Balfanz, who traveled to campus from Chicago, talks with some of the students who attained Certified Installer status. At right is Peter Kruppenbacher, assistant professor of building construction technology, who arranged Thursday's certification ceremony in the SASC.
Balfanz, who traveled to campus from Chicago, talks with some of the students who attained Certified Installer status. At right is Peter Kruppenbacher, assistant professor of building construction technology, who arranged Thursday’s certification ceremony in the SASC.

“There are so many opportunities – an almost endless demand – in construction across North America,” Balfanz told students. Sadly, he said, many of those opportunities exist in storm-hammered areas of the country, “but the No. 1 challenge we face in installation is that we simply don’t have enough skilled labor.

“You’ve all taken a major step by going to school and becoming educated.”

Balfanz additionally briefed the students on the institute’s “Ladder to Success” program for aspiring professionals, noting that certification already gives them an edge over entry-level installer trainees. He also provided a tutorial on industry resources now available to them.

To learn about construction-related majors offered by the School of Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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