Best Contractor to Work For Panel Offers Strategies

February 18, 2008
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
The NEWS “Best Contractor to Work For” contest winners gathered to discuss what makes their companies successful and their employees satisfied during the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition.

NEW YORK - When it comes to hiring employees, the brass at A.O. Reed and Company “take extreme pain” in doing so, according to Ed Blum, manager of special projects. Taking the time up front in the hiring process is one reason why Blum believes the San Diego, Calif., contractor has employees that fit the company mold from day one. “It’s then up to us to keep them happy, by providing a nurturing environment,” he told an audience at a panel discussion with fellow winners in The NEWS’ 2007 “Best Contractor to Work For” contest.

The panel discussion, held at the 2008 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), focused on employing and retaining qualified employees. NEWS business editor John Hall emceed the event.

In addition to Blum, panel members included Gary Marowske, president of Flame Heating Cooling, Warren, Mich.; Todd Kletz, owner of Classic Air’s One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, Virginia Beach, Va.; Jason Merritt, operations manager for LPAC, Bradenton, Fla.; and Vicken Aharonian, president of Combined Air Mechanical Services, Brampton, Ontario.

“There are great young people at Starbucks,” said Blum, noting that his company looks at a person’s attitude first. “Do they want a career or a job? That’s what we ask them. Just know that they are out there, everywhere.”

Appearance was important to panel members. At LPAC, Merritt noted that beards, long sideburns, mustaches, and long hair are not allowed or tolerated. “We hire on attitude and appearance,” said Marowske. “We can teach them the technical skills.”

Each contractor believed in providing and emphasizing training. “We train every day,” said Kletz. “We have a 30-minute session to start the day. We get a pulse of what’s going on. It helps me start the day.”

Getting a background check and drug test from each potential employee is also a must. “You just can’t tolerate a DUI,” said Blum.

Publication date: 02/18/2008

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.


NEWSmakers: Julian Scadden

Training is an ongoing process. Julian will discuss how you can generate maximum return on time and energy invested training by following a three part process. Listen to this podcast to get expert tips on training, tracking and follow up. 

More Podcasts


NEWS 04-21-14 cover

2014 April 21

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive


2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con