A. O. Smith, a leader in water heating and treatment, has announced a new series of training programs as a result of high-demand for its A. O. Smith University educational sessions. The company has two state-of-the-art training facilities, located in Ashland City and Johnson City, Tenn., which held primarily virtual training sessions in 2020 with over 100,000 combined class attendances. Both facilities are utilized to train technicians, contractors, and product representatives on a variety of products and topics.
“In recent months, A. O. Smith University has continued to see at least a 20 percent increase in the number of participants for our virtual learning programs. With the new emphasis on digitally driven educational sessions, we are able to reach a much wider audience, and connect more contractors with key resources,” says Jason Leonard, marketing technology and training manager at A. O. Smith. “We know for our contractors, time is money, and this process allows for more training opportunities on the go.”
With the onset of COVID-19, most classes shifted to a virtual learning format. Despite this new format, A. O. Smith University continues to ensure its students receive the most hands-on training possible. Thanks to the state-of-the-art broadcast studio located in Ashland City, instructors provide real-time, full-scope demonstrations on a range of A. O. Smith products.
Classes are taught on a two-way meeting platform, and there is a 50-person cap placed on all sessions to ensure participants have a high-level of engagement with instructors, as well as the opportunity to ask key questions. This approach helps maintain A. O. Smith University’s focus on techniques and skills to help grow contractors’ careers.
“The two-way interaction between the contractors and the trainers makes all the difference. With the virtual classroom, the trainers have the ability to pivot from their presentation to the contractor’s question. The trainer answers the question, runs over to the white board, and explains the situation. All these things make a real difference in getting the product installed correctly and giving the customer the confidence to troubleshoot most issues that come up on the job site,” explains class participant Casey Cross of Rich Sales. “The virtual training center has been a huge asset over the last year. When COVID had most job site and contractor visits shut down, we were still able to do live water heater training with contractors and wholesalers.”
The A. O. Smith University class schedule is flexible month-to-month, and sessions are offered on a variety of topics, including residential training, commercial training, tankless training, and heat pump training. This September, classes will include the following:
- Sept. 1, 8 A.M.CST – Commercial Training
- Sept. 2, 8 A.M.CST – Tankless Training
- Sept. 9, 7 A.M. CST – Multi-Flue BTR Training
- Sept. 9, 10 A.M. CST – Multi-Flue BTR Training
- Sept. 23, 7 A.M. CST – Cyclone Training
- Sept. 23, 10 A.M. CST – Cyclone Training
To view the full class schedule and for further information, visit www.university.hotwater.com/virtual-campus/.