Friese Foundation Partnership Supports Glass Industry Knowledge

In September 2019, the Friese Foundation and the National Glass Association (NGA) announced an exciting new partnership. Designed to help workers in the glass and glazing industry increase their trade-specific knowledge, the collaboration developed out of Donald Friese’s long-time focus on giving back.

The Friese Foundation’s gift will help train the next generation of workers in the glass and glazing trades. Friese Foundation scholarships to employees in the industry will support training under the supervision of the NGA, through its online education portal at

The gift was announced at the Glazing Executives Forum, part of the program at
GlassBuild America, the NGA’s annual trade show, training, and networking event. 

Industry leader shares his success

Donald Friese grew a Southern California glass business from a small company to a major player in its industry. Now retired, he founded the Friese Foundation as a way to support causes he and his family are passionate about: veterans, first responders, animal welfare, youth education, and mental health. 

More than 70 years as a leading trade group

The National Glass Association, established in 1948, partnered with the Glass Association of North America (GANA) in 2018. The combined organization now has the largest trade group membership in its industry, currently at 1,700 members. The NGA counts a range of glass and glazing manufacturers, suppliers, artisans, and contractors among its member companies. From independent glaziers to full-service glass manufacturers, NGA members have access to resources designed to enhance their professional knowledge and the growth of their businesses.

For companies, one of the core benefits of NGA membership is assistance with onboarding and continuing education of employees. At, both newcomers to the trade and experienced professionals can enroll in online classes that strengthen their previous knowledge and real-world experience. 

MyGlassClass opens doors to information

The more than 60 courses available at reinforce best practices and industry standards while being adaptable to any individual employee’s learning style. Classes are available in both English and Spanish. In addition, attendees can choose programs that allow them to proceed at their own pace. Classes can be accessed and completed in any time frame, via personal computer, tablet, or smartphone. Employers can create personalized learning plans and manage classes for their employees through the portal as well. 

Companies that have offered study programs to their teams have praised the portal for the thorough preparation it provides. The glass and glazing industry has a high need for skilled labor, but the supply of such workers is low. addresses this need by providing convenient training that can help companies turn their new hires into knowledgeable, skilled employees.

Other support from the NGA

The NGA provides other services for its members and the larger glass and glazing industry as well. NGA standards, based on input from some of the most experienced industry professionals, set the benchmark for anyone working in the field. In addition, the NGA offers a rich library of technical information. Bulletins and reports provide essential information on glass and metal fabrication, the use and installation of glass products, and more. These resources are written by members through their participation on NGA committees.

The NGA also advocates for members in the public sphere and provides resources that support business development, employee training, and market news. Its flagship publications include Window + Door and Glass Magazine. 

These two publications support the production of the annual GlassBuild America show, which is scheduled for mid-September 2021 in Atlanta this year. The event is a highlight of the professional calendar for NGA members. In addition to the Glazing Executives Forum, GlassBuild America offers a variety of exhibitor stations with demonstrations, as well as the many continuing education programs that distinguish the NGA. 

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