Our Workforce Development Survey: Thought-provoking Results

MEMBERS REVEAL REAL CHALLENGES, HIDDEN OPPORTUNITIES 

Last month, PPATEC created a Workforce Development Survey to better understand the needs of our membership. We appreciate all the member companies who took a few minutes to share their insights – and who were entered in our drawing for$1,000 credit toward PPATEC Training. Special congratulations go out to the winning participant. John R. Young & Co. Now, it’s time to share the results — and a few of them are real eye-openers:

THE GOOD

• Traction for our 10-week program     Over half of respondents said they have used or are considering using our 10-Week HVAC & Energy Professional Program. The entry level training program provides attendees with basic hands-on training for electrical, air conditioning, heating technologies, and propane systems.
• Supporting home-grown talent    About 67% of members said they “definitely” or “probably” would use PPATEC’s “Sponsor a Candidate” option for the 10-week program: PPATEC identifies a trainee, the member company pays the trainee’s tuition, and the trainee commits to work for the member company for a specified period of time.
• Employee longevity    A full 90% of companies noted that the average tenure for a technician was more than 4 years, with 20% reporting average tenure of 10+ years.

THE BAD

• Help Wanted    No surprise here: technicians are in high demand. Nearly half of all respondents said their companies would seek to add at least 3 technicians in the coming year.
• Experienced techs are scarce   47% of companies said they are “rarely” or “never” able to hire away a qualified tech from another company.

THE UGLY

Recruitment costs are high    A third of respondents noted that it costs more than $3,000 to hire a new HVAC technician.
• Lack of focus on veterans    Most of our members — over 70% — were NOT aware that PPATEC’s 10-week program has been formally approved to accept GI Bill benefits from veteran attendees.

That last point underscores a real challenge for PPATEC. The 10-Week program was carefully crafted to allow veterans a cost-free way to enter a new HVAC career AND offer our member companies the added benefit of PAYING NOTHING FOR TRAINING when they recruit and hire eligible veteran candidates.

A few veterans have graduated from the 10-Week program to date. One veteran (Jamal L.) participant used GI Bill benefits to pay for his entire tuition. He graduated on a Friday and started a career with Suburban Propane the following Monday. Another veteran (Cody W.) attended the program as an employee of RF Ohl and was able to utilize his GI Bill benefits to save his employer from occurring the tuition costs.