Company Takes Its In-House Training Seriously

‘Every day, an hour a day’ is the training philosophy for Nevada’s The Sunny Plumber

Company Takes Its In-House Training Seriously

The Sunny Plumber spends at least an hour every day on some sort of training for its employees, whether it's a technical matter or a soft skill like customer relations.

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Any business providing technical service to individual customers must constantly train employees in two areas: current technology and customer skills. The Sunny Plumber not only takes such training seriously, it is taking it in a new direction.

“We train every day, an hour a day,” says Gary Eisenhauer, general manager of the company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. “We train employees how to deal with clients and technical matters. We have certified vendors come in to train them on certain systems. We also try to accommodate continuing education for our techs, though with a 24/7 business model, that’s hard to do.”

Because of a generally declining pool of candidates for maintenance service work, Eisenhauer tries to recruit new trainees out of high school and college-level education centers. They represent a lifeblood for the industry.

“We know not everyone is suited for college. There are young people out there who like to work with their hands,” he says. “If the plumbing industry doesn’t attract them, it will be difficult for the industry in future years because we are going to be losing a lot of valued workers. Everyone is getting older. I think the average age for plumbers is 43 or 44. We’ve got to get younger.”

To meet this need, the company is setting up its own training center. It has been providing intense training on a limited basis, but soon will move into a 50,000-square-foot facility with dedicated classrooms for the program.

“We are going to train plumbers ourselves, teach them the trade ourselves,” Eisenhauer says. 

What will set The Sunny Plumber’s training program apart from similar efforts? It will emphasize service plumbing.

“Service plumbers are a different breed than construction plumbers,” says Eisenhauer. “People on plumbing service calls really are troubleshooters who have to determine what’s wrong with a system or fixture. We have to train our employees in these skills.”

He notes that plumbing apprenticeship programs offer extensive education, but they are geared primarily toward plumbers who will be working in new construction rather than making service calls on existing plumbing systems.

“We’re going to change the focus,” Eisenhauer says.

Read more about The Sunny Plumber in this full profile featured in the March 2018 issue of Plumber magazine.


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