Discover Finishing Trades

FTI is dedicated to building lasting relationships with employers to ensure students have success immediately upon completion of a trade program and are positioned well for a long career in their field. Employers trust our graduates because they know who we are and what we’re all about.


Drywall Finishers create the smooth and textured surfaces needed in commercial and residential occupied spaces. In today’s workplace, drywall finishers are called upon to complete a variety of tasks and to work in a variety of situations. Drywall Finishers, also known as Tapers, prepare drywall areas for paint and wallcovering application by taping and finishing the joints and imperfections in the drywall surface. Drywall finishers also apply coatings to ceiling surfaces in a variety of textures.

Blueprint Reading   /   Surface Preparation   /   Drywall Finishing


Glass, by its nature and architectural application, creates a variety of specialized, interesting and challenging types of work for glaziers and glassworkers. Glass, along with architectural aluminum, makes up the majority of building materials glaziers and glassworkers work with. These products can be used for mirrors, windows, doors, shower and bath enclosures, automatic entrances and other applications. Glaziers are skilled craftspeople who install and replace glass, architectural aluminum and other related products in both commercial and residential buildings while typically, glassworkers are employed in fabrication and manufacturing facilities preparing the products for the glaziers to install.

Painting + Wallcovering

Painters make our world aesthetically appealing while protecting surfaces from the environment. Painters apply decorative and protective finishes in residential, commercial, institutional and industrial settings. Painters develop an eye for detail, the ability to plan work, and knowledge of many types of finishes, their properties and their applications. Due to technological advances in the industry, ongoing training in new materials and their applications is critical to painters.

Color Harmony  /  Wood Finishing   /  Decorative Finishing


Sign and Display craftspeople design, fabricate, construct, paint and install interior and exterior signage of all types. This includes lettering for windows and vehicles, plastic and neon signs, as well as for trade shows, office complexes, retail and other locations and for various purposes. Signs are crafted to meet the requirements of the customer using innovative and high quality workmanship to create aesthetically pleasing signs made of materials such as metal, vinyl, glass, Plexiglas, wood, neon and plastic.

Color Harmony  /  Screen Printing Equipment   /  Installation Methods


Tradeshow workers will transform any empty facility into a full show presentation in a relatively short span of time. Tradeshow workers move and handle freight, rig equipment, and set up and dismantle exhibits and modular systems. The work is mentally challenging and is in an environment that represents the latest and greatest of the different industries that the tradeshow workers set up. Typical job tasks include rigging and hanging signs, installing and removing carpet, as well as installing and fulfilling the general decorating requirement of the exhibitors.

State-of-the-art training facility

We know that there is no substitute for learning by doing.

Our facility offers access to industry-leading workspaces with the most advanced technology including our full swing stage, paint booth, VR welding and painting simulators, VR arial lift simulators and more.

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FTI Testimonials

“These are some of the best trained skilled crafts people in the industry, not only have they worked in the crafts and out in the field on job sites but they engage with the union family and union membership.”

- Terry Nelson, District Council 82

“FTI instructors provide us with skilled quality workers and not only do those instructors have the book smarts needed to teach proper technique but they also have direct experience in the field.”

- Clark Anderson, CFO - Swanson Youngdale

“The instructors are great, they get down to a personal level. They take their knowledge and implement it into the classroom and hands-on training.”

- Kyle Paulson, Glazier Apprentice



A Rewarding, Hands-On Career Awaits

Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest is an educational institute dedicated to developing professional tradespeople, advancing their skills and certifying their qualifications in the Upper Midwest. Our learners include Commercial and Industrial Painters, Drywall Finishers, Glaziers, Glassworkers, Sign and Display Technicians, and Tradeshow Workers.

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ATTN: The FTIUM is applying for a reaffirmation of accreditation with the Commission of the C.O.E.

The Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest is applying for a reaffirmation of accreditation with the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education. If a person wishes to make comments about this reaffirmation, please write to:


Executive Director of the Commission

Council on Occupational Education

7840 Roswell Road, Business 300, Suite 325

Atlanta, Georgia 30350


(Persons making comments must provide their names and mailing addresses.)