Training Day: Equalizer Trainer Reflects on a Dramatic Career Change

Kevin Stoever worked in pharmacies from 2002 to 2021. Stoever’s nearly two-decade career began in the stocking and photo departments of Walgreens, where he held assistant and store manager positions. He made similar progress at CVS years later, but wanted to change careers to spend more time with his family. This is where Equalizer came in.

Kevin Stoever is a year away from a monumental career change and he’s loving every minute of it.

Equalizer has been providing professional automotive glass removal, replacement, and repair training to technicians, owners, and contractors since 1992. The core of its Auto Glass Academy class is a five-day course that provides students with four full days of hands-on training using its fleet of vehicles. Instructors guide trainees on the removal and replacement of windshields, rear, quarter and door windows. The course also includes rock chip repair, a urethane clinic, classic sets and live calibration sessions. Stoever joined the program as an instructor last year.

“I was thinking about something I could do in my career to be a little closer to my family,” Stoever said. “I couldn’t travel to see my family during the holidays because I had to work the next day or work that day. I thought about learning a trade.

Stoever’s wife posted about her job search on local social media groups, attracting an opportunity with Equalizer. Global Sales Director Shauna Davis has requested an interview.

“I was shy at first because I had no experience in the auto glass industry,” he says. “I decided to work with Gilbert [Gutierrez]be his assistant and instructor for car glass academy.

Gutierrez’s experience in the auto glass industry began in 1977. He has held the title of Global Education Director of the Auto Glass Academy since 1992. Equalizer presented Stoever with two paths: sales and training . He opted for the challenging training course, immersing himself in a whole new arena. But he retained applicable communication skills.

“Being able to talk to people in difficult conversations,” Stoever says of the skills he learned while working at CVS and Walgreens. “If you go to the pharmacy and it’s a prescription, they don’t feel well. You have these difficult conversations; it could be an insurance issue. Getting into Auto Glass Academy, being able to talk to someone and explain [helped my process]. Being able to have conversations – just be a people person.

Auto Glass Academy also hosts ADAS Academy, which aims to “bring all the experience of working with ADAS recalibration systems already in use by leading automotive glass chains around the world to give technicians insight into how their business will be affected by this rapidly emerging technology”. For Stoever, the conversations surrounding safety are most crucial.

“Accidents happen,” he said. “Follow the steps – don’t rub your hand on the weld after cutting the urethane, which can contaminate the surface. I don’t want to teach you how to cut corners. When we teach you, we want you to learn to do it the right way.

This article comes from glassBYTEs™, the free electronic newsletter that covers the latest news from the automotive glass industry. Click HERE to register, there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Auto Glass Repair and Replacement (AGRR) magazine in paper or digital format are available. Subscribe for free HERE.

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