April 2015

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Direct Digital Control Tech Training

Be sure to follow this open online discussion on our LinkedIn Group

Founder, Owner, Publisher AutomatedBuildings.com

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This great discussion started on a closed LinkedIn group and much of it was deleted by that group because it was not their focus.

Bill Simpkins of ChillCo and I have resurrected the discussion on our LinkedIn group AutomatedBuildings.com Online Magazine Forum
because we did not want to have all this wisdom lost.

I have pulled a few quotes but you need to read the complete discussion to make sense of it all.

Bill starts the post with;

Direct Digital Controls Tech Training Programs

I have been talking with a few people in our industry and I believe we are in 100% agreement that there needs to be a way to train young people to enter into the world of DDC and have some skills & resource training other than OJT. Currently almost any good tech that has been in this industry worked and was trained by one of the large corporation like a Honeywell, JCI, Siemens etc… These companies had large training and tech programs with career paths for their employees and over time these large companies’ presents has gotten smaller while the Authorized Contractors Programs have increased in size. This is great for small business but the issue is that there is no central service to train the new and up and coming techs unless they learn from the school of hard knock (OJT) or a small company take the risk of investing in them. The issue with investing in your tech’s is that the other companies that don’t invest in their tech training program are often too willing to pay a tech $1.00 more per hour to jump ship and come work for them. As an employer in a Right to Work State you have to think about investing in your techs and if they might leave you so it is a real Catch 22 for the employer.

My question is how does our industry develop an industry wide training program that will benefit the tech and the company they work for?

I like this comment;

Rob Allen  Building Automation Contractor Sales Support at Stromquist & Company, Inc.

 I think we're starting to see the transition to self teaching via online videos, recorded webinars and such. There's already very little that you can't find online.

 The main issue I still see is the lack of self drive to better ones self. While we may have access to much more knowledge we also have a lot of entitlement entering the workforce who "generally" require someone constantly leading them to water.

 I think the resolution is for the employer to gather or create these new ways of learning and set up programs or incentives to complete them.

 I have a few places that already exist and would be happy to send more info to anyone that's interested.

Alper Üzmezler Managing Partner at BAS Services & Graphics adds this:

With the ever increasing changes within any software online videos and articles are the best way to train employees. I have found out that when hitting a roadblocker and finding the solution adding that company wiki and broadcasting to company keeps all employees updated. Steve Jones, Ken Sinclair liked this

Bill Simpkins ChillCo Top Contributor refocuses us

Great discussion Folks! I did not expect to get the feedback that I am getting on this topic.  I would like to add the following. We (I) have been very lucky that I took an interest in what I do and I am self-taught like anyone else in this industry. We attended a manufactures class on their product and over time we pick up the ins and outs of that product but at what cost? The JOT curve or Learning Curve as they call it can be very expensive to the business owner not to mention damage to a company’s reputation. I want to less or eliminate this curve and spark the interest of a younger generation of Controls Engineers.

We have college programs for Networking Engineers, Mechanical Engineers and Electrical Engineers but I don’t know that we have programs specifically for a HVAC Controls Engineer which would be a cross between a Networking, Mechanical, Electrical and a Programming type Engineer. I was a programmer in college and I wanted to work on Satellites and HDTV because that is what they were funding at Ohio State at the time. My Dad work for Copeland Compressors at the time and he kept telling me to go into Heating and Air Conditioning because you won’t go hungry, people always need one or the other. Reluctantly I went to work for a Wholesale Supplier for HVAC parts (Columbus Temperature Control) and I fell in love with this industry.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] My question is still how to we get a younger generation through the learning curve and educate them on all of the disciplines of our industry in an environment that can be repeated semester after semester? The program would need to be Mechanical, Electrical, Programming, Networking and Troubleshooting all combined. It would need to cover all of the different types of buildings and mechanical systems that we encounter for commercial and industrial. We need to treat this like a real career and stop playing around in the sand box. We spend too much time on the Learning Curve and not enough time maximizing profits.

This is a must read if you are involved in training in our industry. Do not just read please share your opinions.



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