Time to Train

May 24, 2018
Formal education & training in an ever-evolving industry

About the author: Tom Stephan is training manager for Goulds Water Technology at Xylem Inc. Stephan can be reached at [email protected].

Much of the water well industry is represented by multigenerational family-owned companies that have relied on real-world training to educate their employees and drive business, but as more seasoned professionals reach retirement age, the industry is experiencing a loss of on-the-job mentoring. Coupled with the fact that the workforce is expanding beyond traditional family operations, the need for formal training and education is growing.

Many educational programs provide hands-on training.

Solid Foundation

A variety of industry-sponsored educational classes provide practical knowledge for those new to the field, as well as advanced training on the latest developments and technologies. The Goulds Water Technology (GWT) Factory School in Seneca Falls, N.Y., provides training on actual installations to help well water professionals gain valuable troubleshooting skills.

As professional dealers and contractors increasingly understand how a solid educational foundation can deliver more value to their companies and customers, they also recognize that education can help them pursue innovation and maintain a competitive advantage. That is one of the reasons why the industry professionals attending educational seminars and training sessions are becoming increasingly diverse.

Pump and supplier original equipment manufacturer (OEM) personnel, such as customer service and technical support staff, are as likely to attend pump and system training programs as contractors, engineers and field technicians. After all, these employees are on the front lines, answering customer inquiries and helping troubleshoot their system challenges.

The benefits of having all segments of the pump industry participate in training and development opportunities extend beyond developing technical skills. For example, pump and supplier OEMs can add substantial value for their customers and prospective customers by exchanging information and sharing knowledge they learn from training programs to improve product performance.

Online Education

While there is value in traditional classroom training designed to provide attendees with hands-on experience and the opportunity to interact with other professionals in the industry, the flexibility offered by online training programs is becoming increasingly more attractive.

The online education platform at GWT Factory School incorporates videos and other interactive online resources that demonstrate how to properly install and troubleshoot pump systems. In addition to providing employees the ability to increase their industry knowledge at their own pace, virtual seminars eliminate the cost of travel and other expenses related to offsite training. Many state and industry organizations require approved continuing education units for licensure and recertification.

For industry professionals, it is key to find a balance of online education and in-person training, so they can continue to expand their knowledge base throughout their career. The result is the ability to better serve customers and help them make more informed purchasing decisions. Investing in ongoing training positively impacts employers by helping companies stay competitive, reach more customers and grow revenue. 

About the Author

Tom Stephan

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