our opinions: ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT In The Comfort Zone Do you know who is on the other side of the door? A cautionary tale - Part II By BRETT HOBSON CEO Comfort Experts L 80 ast month, I talked about how hard we work to make sure the service persons we send to your home would be ones we would be comfortable with having in our own homes. Our motto is to hire for attitude and train for aptitude. And our training is, I and many contractors from across the coun- ty believe, the very best in the business. When you have extremely high standards it makes it difficult to hire technicians. Although we were recruiting at many of the HVAC training schools around the state and the country, we weren’t finding truly proficient employees that could provide the kind of service that we expect for our customers. Because we couldn’t find enough to meet customers’ needs, we decided to start training the employees ourselves. We started by partnering with a local community college, but we still weren’t having the level of expertise we require for our technicians. So, after much debate and consideration, we began the Perfect Technician Academy in 2015 and we haven’t looked back, only forward. Our training [program] is recognized as one of the best in the country. Contractors from virtually every state in the U.S., as well as contractors from Canada and Grand Cayman, send their employees to us to train to a level that is not available anywhere else. We are the only contractor in the U.S. that has a school that is approved by the State of Texas, The Department of Veteran Affairs, and the U.S. Department of Labor. The Mineral Wells campus will allow us to educate and house the students who come to our school from all over Texas and the U.S., and some from as far away as the Cayman Islands. It will be a true campus facility where our students can live and study. My brother, Brian Hobson, who runs the Perfect Technician Academy, describes the educa- tion that our technicians receive as a “fire hose of informa- tion.” Students have homework every night during the six weeks of classroom instruction as well as a test at the end of each unit. Wh ile our Mineral Wells campus is still on the horizon, we are currently doing everything we can to introduce new students to our business. Our recent work with the U.S. Brett Hobson Department of Veterans Affairs certifies us to accept GI Bill Funds for training. The GI Bill is a program for any veteran who has at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after Sept. 10, 2001, and is still on active duty. An honor- ably discharged veteran or one discharged with a service- connected disability after 30 days may be eligible for this VA-administered program. According to the VA, the GI Bill can pay for training in areas such as HVAC repair, truck driving, emergency medical training and barber/beautician school. As with any business endeavor, it’s impossible to foresee some of the things that will happen. For example, we were not expecting for other HVAC contractors to send us their employees with over 10 years in the field to train in our academy. It is amazing how many technicians are in homes every day [and they] don’t understand or know how an air- conditioning system really works. I think it shows how some contractors are really trying to make their business better, but who would have thought that a technician with 10 years experience would have so little knowledge of the key parts and of an air-conditioning unit’s operation? What does all this mean to you as a homeowner if you honor us by allowing Comfort Experts to be the company that helps keep you comfortable in your home? The techni- cian that comes to your home is one of the best-trained in the industry that will diagnose your problem quickly and accurately, and has all the parts on his truck that he needs to fix your unit on the first trip 96 percent of the time. It’s an exciting time to be in the HVAC business and jobs are plentiful for those who are willing. According to The News, an HVAC industry publication, the current shortage of HVAC technicians in the United States is at 20,000 and is only expected to increase. Finding good people who want to practice a trade has been a problem for companies like ours for years. If you know someone who has a great work effort, is honest, likes to help people, is reliable, does not do drugs, is a nonsmoker, is not afraid of work, has a business- like appearance, or is looking for a great career, please have them give us a call. We are always hiring good people. And we will train them on the technical stuff.