ARLINGTON, Va. - The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Consumer Contractor Connection (C3) online referral service has been enhanced with expanded functionality and will soon represent “an even more elite group of technicians” when new technician benchmark requirements become effective in 2009.

NATE has enhanced the site so that contractors may verify the status of a technician’s NATE certification as well as the pending expiration date. Launched previously, the C3 provides an online resource, at no cost to the contractor, where consumers can find contractors in their area who employ NATE-certified technicians. According to NATE, the site has already received more than 25,000 visits in 2008.

Rex Boynton, NATE’s president, noted that the C3 will be especially valuable to contractors as 2009 approaches and the benchmark for contractor listings on the C3 increases from 25 percent to 50 percent of technicians NATE-certified.

“In addition to changing the criteria of the C3 program, NATE is raising the requirements to participate in the Quality Circle program which is the elite level of the C3,” said Boynton.

He added that the new requirement threshold will move from 75 percent to 80 percent of a contractor’s technician force NATE-certified. Additionally, at least one NATE-certified technician will be required in each area of service and/or installation.

“We enhanced the site early so that contractors can easily make arrangements to get their technicians’ certifications renewed before they expire,” Boynton explained.

“They can also easily see what percentage of their technicians have earned NATE certification and make plans early to meet the new minimum certification percentages.”

The C3 also allows a contractor to verify what NATE specialty certifications a technician has completed.

“We expect the enhanced program to be particularly popular with our manufacturer partners; many of whom already require significant NATE participation among their dealer networks,” Boynton stated.

For more information, visit

Publication date:06/30/2008