“We have weathered the recession so far without a single layoff,” Lohbeck said, “and now we’re pleased to be adding new jobs.” The company has also added a new truck, increased its warehouse space from 85,000 to over 310,000 cubic feet, established a same-day delivery policy within Fayette County, and has plans to expand even more in the next three to five years.
The improved training center will make it possible for more technicians to learn the ins and outs of environmentally friendly technologies that have gained popularity since federal tax credits became available for installing efficient equipment. “There was not a designated classroom space in our old building, so fewer people could be trained at a time, and the atmosphere was not as conducive to learning,” said Lohbeck. The new space features many opportunities for hands-on learning, with three fully functioning comfort systems, plus a Bryant whole-house standby generator.
Students are able to “touch and feel” while they learn to install, troubleshoot, and maintain a Bryant Hybrid Heat gas furnace-geothermal heat pump, a high-efficiency variable-speed Evolution heat pump and a Mitsubishi Mr. Slim ductless heat pump air conditioning system with two zones.
“We have the geothermal system set up so that we can go out to the wells and they can see how the pipes are fused together and follow the pipes all the way back inside,” said Lohbeck. He said many techs working in traditional HVAC technologies would be interested to witness firsthand how ground-source heat pumps use the even temperatures of groundwater rather than outside air as a source of high-efficiency heating and cooling. All Bryant air conditioners, including geothermal heat pumps, use environmentally sound, chlorine-free Puron refrigerant.
“Especially in our region, these systems are absolutely essential to know about if you want to remain competitive in the future,” Lohbeck said. “We had 300 percent growth in geothermal sales last year over the year before. Green technologies are in high demand, and dealers and contractors who know how to install and repair them will be in high demand as well.”