York® dealers and customers gathered for the grand opening of the first in a series of training centers as part of an initiative between York and Source 1® HVAC Service Parts. This training center offers a plethora of different classes in conjunction with a live lab that houses HVAC equipment.
Source 1, the exclusive supplier of service parts and residential accessories for all Johnson Controls Inc. Unitary Products, and York, a Johnson Controls Inc. brand, wanted to team up to better equip the contractors who buy from them by training them properly on the equipment.
“The goal behind it all was to make sure these guys know what they are doing,” said Greg Sims, regional service manager, Source 1. “There can be misconceptions by customers that a product is no good when really it was just improperly installed; it’s not the product that is the problem, it’s the installation. We wanted to focus on holding technicians working with York equipment to a higher standard to eliminate those types of problems and concerns and get better responses and reviews from consumers using our products.”
Housed within the 55,000-square-foot Source 1 HVAC Supply Center in Earth City, Missouri, the training center opened in January and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
The training center ribbon-cutting event occurred on-site with over 150 guests in attendance, including dealers, customers, trade schools, and even the mayor of neighboring Bridgeton, Missouri, Terry Briggs. Attendees enjoyed lunch, prizes, and giveaways and visited with vendors and Johnson Controls representatives.
“There was a lot of interest and enthusiasm from the dealers and technicians, and that is who we are doing this for,” said Raymond Granderson, lead instructor, technical services, Johnson Controls. “There was a ton of different stuff to do, but it was interesting, if you watched, you noticed the techs really wanted to see the classroom and the lab. That is what they wanted to see and where their focus was, which was great.”
WHAT IS IN STORE?
The facility consists of a 1,200-square-foot classroom, where the lecture and PowerPoint-based learning takes place, and a live lab, where eight HVAC systems are housed for hands-on learning.
“I can comfortably sit about 48 students in the classroom, and the training facility houses eight different systems that range from your basic efficiency systems to your premium, so we have a pretty wide offering to do the training with,” said Sims.
Granderson explained that the training center’s philosophy is that a technician who receives both hands-on and classroom training is more apt to understand how to properly service and install the equipment.
“The hands-on component reinforces the classroom work or the work done online,” he said. “For example, in the class we did last week, a lightbulb went off in a student’s head and he high-fived me when it clicked with him. From a hands-on perspective, it is great to see that connection. He was all smiles because he understood what we were trying to get through to him at that point.”
And it’s this hands-on component that caught the attention of Randy Warren, owner, Global Warming and Cooling LLC, Arnold, Missouri.
“Usually, training facilities don’t have the units powered on, so you can’t actually work on them or test them with tools as you would in the field, but in this case, you can,” he said.
Warren has taken at least seven classes at the training center so far, and he encouraged his son to attend as well.
Overall, it takes approximately 20 to 24 hours of training to become a York-certified technician, including the online prerequisite classes, classroom learning, and hands-on lab work.
According to Sims, since the grand opening in January, the facility has had 15 classes that have reached 186 students.
And, according to Granderson, more facilities are due to open soon — across both the U.S. and Canada.
“We are going to continue the type of momentum we have had so far going forward,” said Sims.
Publication date: 6/11/2018