The training of the industry workforce will always
be one of PERC's top priorities. Whether offered in
formal classroom instruction, self-paced computer-based learning, printed manuals, or hands-on demonstrations, PERC training programs — especially the Certified Employee Training Program (CETP) — help to reduce accidents and incidents, promote safety awareness, improve regulatory compliance, and build consumer confidence.
In 2010, PERC increased its attention on a different type of training: programs designed to support the adoption
of newly developed propane applications for every market sector.
For example, the new online Propane Training Academy at propanetrainingacademy.com provides architects and construction professionals with articles, webinars, videos, white papers, product catalogs, research, and more than a dozen free one-hour training sessions on how to add the value of propane technologies to their projects. Free courses such as Go Green with Propane, Expanding Outdoor Living, and Retrofitting Homes from Heating Oil to Propane provide professional know-how plus continuing-education units from the National Association of Home Builders, the American Institute of Architects, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, and the U.S. Green Building Council.
PERC also fully implemented the new Marketer Technology Training program that supports growing propane demand by giving marketers the knowledge and tools to increase customer awareness of the new products — especially products developed through PERC investments in research and development. Previewed at the Southeastern Convention and International Propane Expo in Atlanta in April, the program is already a hit with propane marketers.
Excited by the new knowledge that one propane-fueled lawnmower can use as much propane as three houses, Mark Holloway, with Modern Gas in Albany, Ga., applied the program's outreach and marketing insights to create a new 10,000-gallon-per-year customer. Mark trained one of his best drivers in the markets and benefits of propane mowing and sent him to visit every lawn mower dealer in the area — "The message was pretty clear: we're going to help you sell more mowers" — and then every commercial lawn maintenance company in a 40-mile radius.
"Our timing was perfect," says Mark. "[A] company was in the market to buy eight new mowers and we were able to convince them that propane was the best way
to go. In fact, they are such propane fans now that
they also bought a propane F-150 [pickup from Roush CleanTech]." And how much propane does the lawn company use? "This is equal to 24 homes for us,"
Mark says there's a valuable lesson for all marketers in the new training program. "We put an awful lot of effort and work in to getting three houses. We hadn't explored the lawn mower market previously, but this training convinced me that we should give it a shot. The most important thing I would say to other marketers is that these companies aren't going to come to you — but these accounts are out there."