BELOIT, Wis. — Five new training centers from roofing systems and products manufacturer Mule-Hide Products Co. Inc. will give the company’s contractors, distributor partners and associates easy, nationwide access to the ongoing, hands-on education they need.

The Mule-Hide Training Centers are part of a significant expansion and enhancement of the company’s long-standing training program. Now called the RISE Program (Roofing Installation and Systems Education), it encompasses in-depth, customizable training on all the commercial roofing products and systems the company offers.

The company’s training facility on the ABC Supply headquarters campus in Beloit, Wis., has reopened as a Mule-Hide Training Center following a top-to-bottom renovation. A new center also recently opened at an ABC Supply branch in Orlando. A location at an ABC Supply branch in Avenel, N.J., will open during the first half of 2023. Centers in Texas and Arizona will round out the network.

The Mule-Hide Training Centers and RISE Program accommodate Mule-Hide Products’ growth and expanding product offering. 

“Our training programs have always been one of the things that sets Mule-Hide apart, with our territory managers providing programs at our distributors’ and contractors’ facilities,” said Managing Director Dan Williams. “The RISE Program and new Mule-Hide Training Centers will allow us to serve far more people and offer a broader range of classes in modern, well-equipped facilities designed specifically for that purpose.”

The enhanced training opportunities will meet the needs of professionals in all areas of commercial roofing and at all career stages.

“Training isn’t just for people who are new to the industry,” said National Training Manager Kyle Stavish. “Commercial roofing is constantly changing, with new products, technology and regulations being introduced. To keep up, everyone involved needs continuing, hands-on education. That includes contractors, distributors and our own associates, whether they’re just getting started in roofing or have decades of experience.”

Expanding Training Opportunities

The facilities will quadruple the number of people that Mule-Hide Products can accommodate for in-house training each year. With the locations spread out across the country, accessing that training will be more convenient for the company’s growing nationwide network of contractors, distributors and associates.

The centers also will allow Mule-Hide Products to provide more in-depth training across all the products and systems it offers, including TPO, EPDM, PVC, modified bitumen, coatings, asphalt, and tapered insulation. In addition to introductory courses, follow-up classes that provide more advanced instruction on key systems will be offered.

Customized, Hands-On Training

The centers are designed to facilitate programs customized to meet the needs, interests and schedules of each group using it.

“There are spaces and tools to accommodate all stages of the learning process,” Stavish said. “Participants can begin with classroom-style instruction to get a foundational understanding of the topic, then watch the instructor put that knowledge to work in a demonstration, and finally get hands-on experience doing it themselves.”

Each facility has a classroom equipped to comfortably host video presentations, discussions and team meetings.

The majority of each center is devoted to designed, user-friendly areas where participants can get essential hands-on experience. Each facility includes the following:

  • A 16-foot by 32-foot mock multi-height parapet roof on which the correct way to complete any detail can be demonstrated or practiced. 
  • Ergonomic 4-foot by 8-foot standing training tables where participants can practice completing details, such as corners, drains, pipes and scuppers, without bending and stooping.
  • Custom-designed roll racks that neatly dispense roof membrane for use in training.
  • A layout that follows lean manufacturing principles to keep the space clean and organized. In keeping with the 5S System, tools, equipment and other materials all have designated homes, marked by tape or signs, to help keep everything in its proper place.

The facilities are equipped with cameras and audio equipment to capture presenters, video and slide presentations and demonstrations, enabling classes to be livestreamed for remote participants and recorded for later online viewing.

“We’re proud to provide these new resources to ensure everyone in the Mule-Hide family has easy access to the in-person, hands-on training they need,” Stavish said.