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About Tri-StateNeon

  • Rank
    Drive By Register

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  • Name
    Kirk Lilly
  • Company
    Signs4U.biz LLC
  • City & State
    Wicheshter VA
  • Gender

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  • Company Type
    Vinyl & Digital Shop
  1. Go Gary Go - Now tell us what you really think,lol,lol,lol,lol.... I stand behind Gary!!!
  2. Morning Everyone........ . Yes, tis the season - I have been really busy and have had no time to log on until recently.....Everyone has questions about the aspect of this trade... Why? Why keep all this information inside and not let it out... Not like this is all inclusive and it's my experience that have brought me to my thoughts on some of this....not to mention a short fast rant due to my time frame and customers.....Thank you for getting and keeping this going - I was born into the industry and my Father learned how to bend glass from an employee in the mid 70's who was all to reluctant to give my father the information needed to bend and process glass. Back then (and even today, in all industries) tight lips were JOB SECURITY. My father being the stubborn, head strong individual he took to learning the Electrical sign trade like most people trial, error, watching, asking and getting the right person for the job.. Not too many answers from the asking area unless it was a sign supplier lending some words as a distributor of products...By having specialized experience in a trade and by making the process of creating and processing glass a secret makes the medium Ooo and Ahh just like fireworks or you can think of it as a magician and his secrets of his tricks.... My father had had a couple of benders in his shop. I remember that they were unwilling & unwanting to release any information of what they learned so that their jobs stay in tacked and in demand.. But one thing my father did was to have them sign a contract of employment.. Stating in the contract that the individual if they were to come on board and work in the shop would have to agree to NOT bend glass or process glass in a 50 mile radius of our shop.... This also went for the installers due to their knowledge,but it didn't take them away from working for another outfit, it only kept them from opening a shop down the street from your shop...From what I have seen, tons of shops do this. Job security for the business and it's staff...My father taught me how to bend glass. I have been bending glass since I was 19 until I was 29 took a hiatious to go back to college and got back in the neon game when I was 34 now 37 and have yet to see any shop or individual with a small shop trying to make it let loose of what they know.... They paid to learn this one way or another.. Blood, Sweat and Burns or with Cash at a Neon School..... We also have to look back to when this all first started and how long it took a Journey man tube bender to even get to the status of "Journeyman"... I built my shop. I put everything together, I bought all the parts. I learned through trial and error... I still learn something new every day I am at my shop.... Personally, I'm not about to teach someone my trade without compensation and a contract with at least a 50 mile radius placed in the deal so that the individual can go across town, open up shop and take away my lively hood by under cutting my prices just to get me out of the business.. Maybe this is paranoia on my part from years ago and from what my father handed down to me, but Planet earth if you haven't seen lately is full of 300,000,000 and the count is rising everyday with people wanting to get ahead one way or another... If you want to learn it, you'll pay the price or you won't bend glass.... Our industry is not unlike many others... Take Tattooing for example... Same thing.. I know a few tattoo artists around my area and they all ink with different styles, but they'll even tell you (friend or no friend) "It'll cost you this amount $$$$$$ to have me teach you, not to mention that a few of them state in the contract that you work for them for a year or two prior to going on your own... Example: Nursing school (a much broader industry)... Most hospitals will assist you in the learning process but if you want to go to college and learn how to be a Dr. RN or nurse and you don't have the money to pay for it or can't for one reason or another get a loan/grant for your SCHOOLING they will pay for it and state on the paper work and upfront that they'll do this for you but you have to work for them for 5 years before moving on... This works for the industries for two reasons I can think of off the top of my head.. More work force at the hospital of choice and the 5 year stent to make sure A) that you have the knowledge that you have been given to do the job correctly and B) that you stay within the community. By doing this unless you really screw up will they will keep you at the hospital to further enhance your career and assist the hospital at being the best they can. Retention ......... Just one benders aspect of and babbling. I might have gone of topic but we are not the only industry that does this "Tight Lipped" But I do agree that we need to have a voice.. Secrets of your shop and how you do things don't have to come to the fore front when you are talking about the state of our industry and what we as benders and/or shop owners need to do to open the individuals/groups eyes on subjects such as mercury safety, shop safety, legislation the whole bit..... When my father brought his shop to Winchester VA we had to go to the county building, look over their permit applications and teach them about what we do and how the industry standards work.... Before us there were no Electrical sign shops in the area. WE had to invite them to the shop and have many meetings with the county reps so that everyone was on the same page and their knowledge that was gained was proper for all aspects of code. We even had meetings with our UL Guy and the counties reps.. By doing this or UL Guy (rest his soul) who was amazingly knowledgeable in the sign industry helped them create and put into action county wide standards.... Well back to work I go.. Weeding some vinyl and getting some glass done.... Just one Benders opinion on SOME of what I've seen and been through......... Kirk
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