Contractors seeking to further their skills in roofing systems, solar and beyond can access an upgraded version of Owens Corning’s learning management system, Owens Corning University.

With the goal of education and inclusion in mind, OCU 2.0 is offering materials in Spanish. By working with Latino Claims Academy, live training is available for Latino and Spanish-speaking contractors related to the storm and insurance industry.

“We continue to invest in online and in-person training resources for the Latino contractor, and most recently launched our partnership with the Latino Claims Academy, helping Spanish-speaking contractors maximize their opportunity in the insurance and storm-related business,” said Jon Gardner, senior leader, strategic partnerships and learning and development.

Updates continue to be made as new and emerging trends enter the industry. For instance, in February, Owens Corning launched its Solar PROtect Program, providing contractors with educational content to start estimating, selling and installing “roof with solar” systems. The program is now embedded into Owens Corning University online as well as with live training, said Gardner.

“The Owens Corning Solar PROtect™ Program is really focused on helping our contractors solve some of the biggest challenges when it comes to solar, which includes is, 'How do I effectively take my existing roofing business, and seamlessly add solar as a new revenue opportunity?'” Gardner said.

Gardner said Owens Corning approaches OCU as “product-plus,” meaning they want to teach the technical details and specifics of products but also provide content on improving business practices. 

“This is the area where contractors have continued to say, ‘Hey, look, at the end of the day, our biggest areas of friction include ... being able to really run a healthy business, including knowing the numbers like P&L and balance sheet statements,” Gardner said.

Custom Contractor Support

Other updates to the system include more customization as well as enhanced tracking capabilities. Gardner said owners and managers can now assign content to employees and review their progress. 

"Owner and leaders of the business can now assign content and track progress, as well as have access to reporting capabilities to see how employees are progressing,” Gardner said. “The OCU platform even allows contractors to upload additional training content to the platform so everything is one place. Now our owners have the ability to immerse themselves into Owens Corning University as their primary resource for helping their business and employees grow.”

When updating OCU, Owens Corning took into consideration the burden contractors face dealing with multiple platforms. To create a space where all training can be included for a company, OCU 2.0 enables contractors to upload content of their own, meaning custom training or specific guides are accessed in the same space as general courses offered by OCU.

“It could be in the HR area, it could be in any area that’s important to our contractors,” Gardner said. “The point here is we are invested in helping our contractors scale and solve problems in all aspects of the business.”

This means training can be individualized and tailored for employees at any level, ensuring employees are learning what they need to know instead of one-size-fits-all training courses. For example, sales reps can concentrate on familiarizing themselves with their products and sales processes.

In addition to having 24/7 access to the platform, live courses have been a feature of OCU. In 2023, the company held around 150 individual, large-scale events across the United States with its training partners.

“It’s about Owens Corning’s commitment to the small business and understanding that product is really important, but product-plus is the key to a successful partnership," he said.