In an effort to continue metal’s decade-long trend of gaining roofing market share, METALCON is doing its part to develop more qualified metal roofing installers. The 2023 METALCON tradeshow floor will include a METALCON Training Zone, offering a hands-on learning opportunity for roofing contractors with any or no level of experience working with metal.

The 2023 show is scheduled for October 18-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Show staff recently announced that booth space is being added again and attendee registration is more than double what it was last year.

“With exhibit and attendee numbers on the rise, this show provides us with a great opportunity to offer installation training to metal roofing installers,” says Judy Geller, Vice President of Trade Shows/METALCON. “Even more importantly, this training will be available to those with no experience with metal but are interested in adding metal roofing to their product line.”

The METALCON Training Zone will feature demonstrations and education using a variety of mock-ups and materials including painted steel, aluminum, zinc, copper and other natural metals. Training will focus on proper detailing and utilization of the right tools to enhance skills of contractors and remodelers, enabling them to deliver their best, most efficient and cleanest work when installing various metal roofing systems.

“We’re working out the schedule, but we’re planning on having continuous training all three days of the convention,” says John Sheridan, owner of Sheridan Tools and organizer of the METALCON Training Zone. “We’ll have mock-ups with several various details to work on and there will be training in English as well as Spanish. Roofing materials are coming from several generous manufacturers and Sheridan Tools will be providing tools for the METALCON Training Zone.”

Among the manufacturers donating metal roofing materials for use in the METALCON Training Zone are Drexel Metals, McElroy Metal and VMZinc.

The METALCON Training Zone is sponsored by Sherwin-Williams, which recently introduce its MetalVue program. The coating manufacturer has invested years in the development of MetalVue, a program that has evolved into an in-depth and comprehensive tool kit for contractors.

“We’re working on finding ways to help contractors grow their business by getting into metal,” says Mark MacDonald, with Sherwin-Williams. “Research shows there is a real opportunity to create a significant share shift from asphalt shingles into metal roofing. MetalVue offers business process change, services and software to help contractors make that transition. It provides the framework for their business to be successful.”

Part of that success is being able to install a watertight metal roofing system, so training is a significant step for contractors. MetalVue is sponsoring the METALCON Training Zone. The mockups will provide some basic details involved in the installation of a watertight metal roofing system. Almost all metal roofing manufacturers offer training specific to their products.

Jim Bush is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ATAS International, a leading metal roofing and wall panel manufacturer, located in Allentown, Pa. Bush has overseen numerous training sessions at METALCON and at various ATAS locations.

“First and foremost is safety,” Bush says. “One should always follow the current OSHA safety practices when installing metal. Following safety, my best advice is to always follow the manufacturer’s standard details. While there are often five right ways to treat individual details, there certainly are details used that may not be appropriate for the system or geographical location of the building. If a contractor deviates from the manufacturer’s recommendations, it is often a reduced level of liability for the manufacturer in the event a problem does occur in the future.

“As the attention to detail is the greatest challenge when getting involved in any new materials, understanding the basics of the materials and proper tools to be used with the systems is a must. Also, while materials are highly aesthetic in nature, in many cases the functionality of the system is hidden from view. As metal provides some of the longest service life expectations of any roofing material, the proper installation is key to the long-term performance. While not overly complicated to install, they are not easily corrected if something is done improperly.”