Michigan Contractor Takes Training National
Metoyer is the third-generation owner and president of Fay Lett & Sons, a heating and cooling contractor in Lansing, MI, specializing in residential and commercial add-on and replacement work.
The company was founded in 1926 by his grandfather, and Metoyer says that he has grown up not only around the family business, but also within the industry. With that experience, Metoyer knows what individuals in the industry need to learn, and he has spent the past 20 years instructing industry professionals. In fact, the instructor has reached thousands of people involved in the industry, allowing his teaching to evolve and continue to grow.
Far-Reaching PossibilitiesMetoyer started teaching at Lansing Community College. In 1974, he decided to do his own training and eventually developed his own hvacr business, known as Omega Energy Consultants.
Metoyer began by conducting spark ignition courses at the request of contractors.
“Over the years, courses were added mainly because of demand or what I thought people needed,” he said.
Currently, Metoyer offers 22 hvacr technical, system design, and business courses, all of which were developed by and are taught by Metoyer. These courses have been presented to more than 15,000 service technicians, installers, sales people, and business owners throughout Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Other clients of Metoyer’s classes include the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), the Air Condi-tioning Contractors of America (ACCA), as well as the Behler-Young Company, one of Michi-gan’s largest wholesalers.
Metoyer is looking to expand even further, and part of the strategy in doing this is to start offering courses not through Omega Energy Consultants, but through Fay Lett & Sons. Metoyer says that the only training through Omega will be his seminars with Behler-Young. Any other training he conducts will be sponsored by Fay Lett & Sons.
By opening a training division through his service company, Metoyer feels he can reach even more prospective students. The course curriculum has not changed, only the name. But why make a change when Omega has been so successful?
According to Metoyer, contractors and service technicians are more willing to spend their time and money on a training course if they know it will be presented by a contractor.
This lesson was something Metoyer learned over time. He explains that many of his seminars would grow in attendance over time due to word of mouth. When he would ask the participants why they had not attended sooner, his answer was always the same.
“I was hearing this a lot from people who finally came to the seminars,” said Metoyer. “That Omega Energy didn’t really sound like anything, that it sounded like a consultant.”
Metoyer goes on to explain that when training is advertised to individuals in the industry, they are more prone to ignore seminars that look as though they are conducted by consulting firms or individuals who appear to not have a great deal of experience in the industry.
“When a contractor sees a brochure for training come across their desk and it is given by Omega, it goes in the trash,” said Metoyer.
Building An AudienceMetoyer’s success didn’t happen overnight. For the past 20 years, Metoyer has offered training at Behler-Young’s three training facilities.
According to Charlie Jacobs at Behler-Young, twice a year the wholesaler and Metoyer map out a training schedule. The classes are then presented every Saturday at one of the three Behler-Young training centers. The courses range from basic electricity to rooftop units to BOCA codes. Metoyer will cover whatever Behler-Young feels its employees need to know. But the courses are also open to anyone in the industry willing to attend, not just Behler-Young employees. Over the years, Jacobs says that he has seen the courses grow, with most of them filling to the maximum capacity, and he attributes the success of the program to Metoyer.
“What I expect is that people came to our training because of his reputation,” said Jacobs.
Now Metoyer is looking to build his reputation beyond the states he currently teaches in, and he hopes that by displaying the Fay Lett & Sons name, this can be achieved.
So far, Metoyer’s venture into other parts of the country is starting off slowly. But he says that he is not discouraged.
“The key is to get started, even if you lose money,” said Metoyer. “It builds slowly. After a couple of years, you can make a profit.”
For more information on Fay Lett & Sons, call 517-371-4100. For information on Metoyer’s courses at the Behler-Young training facilities, call any Behler-Young branch.
Sidebar:Fay Lett & Sons Training Schedule
For more information, call 517-371-4100.
Publication date: 07/09/2001