Training and Standards Help With Customer Service

[Editor’s note: This letter is in response to Angela Harris’ article “Is There Room for the One-Man Shop?” July 26.]

I decided to start my own business. Another guy who had worked with me decided to start his own business also. We were both one-man shops, but we helped each other out on two-man jobs over the years. We were legitimate companies. I took care of my customers. I offered honest, dependable, personalized service. I was not the cheapest and didn’t try to be. Granted there are many who don’t try to be professional as small shops, but many do. That is the American way, the small business owner.

I do believe we need more laws making us train yearly and earn X number of CEUs to hold our licenses. I see too many, large and small alike, that don’t need to be in the business because they don’t maintain a standard or don’t have the proper training to know what a standard should be.

Whit S. Perry
Senior Instructor
Heating & Air Conditioning Technology
Northwest Mississippi Community College
Senatobia, Miss.

Licensing Should Be More Widespread

I just finished reading Butch Welsch’s contractor licensing column [“Contractor Licensing Gets a Bad Rap,” August 20] and couldn’t agree more with all your points. I thought it was great when it [licensing of commercial contractors and their employees in St. Louis County] passed over there and wish Illinois had this mechanical license. We have state licensing for our plumbers, and it’s a godsend. If we didn’t have this, every carpenter would be doing our work.

I explain this to the apprentices I teach at Local 101 Plumbers and Pipefitters in Belleville, Ill., all the time. We have continuing education and licensing fees, but this is a small price to pay to keep our jobs and wages intact.

David Munie
Plumbing Estimator/Service Manager
BEL-O Plumbing & Mechanical Inc.
O’Fallon, Ill.

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Publication date:10/18/2010