When Lou Holzer joined Burns and Scalo Roofing Company four years ago as residential division manager, he already had more than 20 years of experience in the business. Since then he's nearly doubled his division's revenue and has played a key role in developing a curriculum for the company's training program. The three-year-old Burns and Scalo University occupies a renovated warehouse and offers safety, administrative, and technical training for which employees receive credits toward pay increases. Training by manufacturers is supplemented by classes taught by the company's foreman.

The school has more than paid for itself in reduced turnover. "We're trying to establish a way for employees to advance both financially and technically in this field," explains Holzer.