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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