Sarah Scala Consulting
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Case Study - Apprenticeship

Design of Apprenticeship Program for Simon Pearce - US Handcrafted Glassware Company

Design of Apprenticeship Program for Simon Pearce - US Handcrafted Glassware Company

A Vice President of Human Resources wanted to improve the time-to-mastery of apprentice glassblowers to meet the increased demand for production. Apprentices design elegant glassware, tableware, lighting, and home decor by hand.  Sarah Scala Consulting was hired to design a successful Apprenticeship (mentor) program to improve performance and provide a strong ROI.  


The Objectives of the Project:

  1. Build consistent teaching skills and processes with master glassblowers
  2. Role model and inform apprentices of appropriate behavior, knowledge, and skills
  3. Coach and give feedback to apprentices through areas which they experience difficulty


Questions Guiding this Project:

  • What is the current state and approach to training Apprentices?  What is working well? What is not working?
  • What improvements does the client seek in performance and speed?
  • How willing are the Master Glassblowers to learn how to mentor and teach?
  • How can we provide incentives to Master Glassblowers for spending time teaching apprentices?


Services Provided:

  • Consulting with Human Resources and Compensation leaders
  • Design and facilitation of custom 2-day mentor program
  • Survey and assessment



  1. Met with Vice President of Human Resources and Vice President of Compensation to discuss specific needs
  2. Met with Master Glassblowers and learned how to blow glass to build familiarity with process
  3. Custom designed content for 2-day workshop, including workbook, assessment, and experiential activities
  4. Facilitated 2-day program for 10 Master Glassblowers
  5. Designed and administered post-program survey to gain feedback on the program



  • Master glassblowers built skills in mentoring and teaching which enabled new Apprentices to develop skill mastery much faster.
  • Morale increased for Master Glassblowers with their new leadership roles.
  • Apprentices built mastery in glass blowing at an increased rate, which improved productivity.    

To learn more about the Simon Pearce Apprenticeship Program, see the articles in the
Boston Globe and Rutland Herald.


Client Testimonial:

“Due to a new executive leadership team that has aggressive plans for revenue growth, Simon Pearce needed to develop a well-trained workforce at a faster rate.  To support this need, we partnered with Sarah Scala Consulting to build our first ever Glassblower Apprenticeship Program. Sarah Scala designed and facilitated the training, as well as provided consulting to support and share ideas for training the new apprentices. The two-day program included an assessment defining people’s learning preferences, as well as lessons on facilitation and teaching skills.  Our master glassblowers became familiar with these new methods and they practiced using new skills practicing through real life scenarios while receiving immediate feedback.  It was quite experiential!  By the end of the two days, the glassblowers were confident in their ability to train, in addition to becoming familiar with the measurement, evaluation, and compensation tools that were being used to support this change.  Feedback from participants and their evaluation of the workshop was very positive and appreciative. The glassblowers connected with Sarah right from the start. Her down-to-earth and humorous teaching style, coupled with her deep knowledge on the subject, quickly earned her credibility. Sarah also strove to understand her audience by spending several hours learning to blow glass herself! The participants walked away from the workshop quite proud, excited and eager to pass on both their passion and their unique skill on to a whole new generation of talent.  It could simply not have been so successful without Sarah’s deep consultative expertise and enthusiasm for our critical training initiative!”
-  Former Vice President of Human Resources, Simon Pearce