Technician Tips • Business Tips • 44 minutes

Continuous Learning: Building a Robust Training Culture in the Trades

April 2, 2024

Episode Overview

Ken Midgett wasn’t the best student in school, but now he’s the cool teacher who the kids call “Coach.” 

As plumbing market director at Interplay Learning, Midgett directs a plumbing program training class that has developed into one of the most popular choices in the curriculum.

Before joining Interplay Learning, Midgett ran two successful businesses.

“Sometimes you have to make sacrifices on the personal side to invest in your career,” he says. 

Would that we could all eliminate those sacrifices. But as he progressed with his own career, Midgett saw firsthand how training is a critical component in the long-term growth of any company.

Now, he’s on a mission: to help trade companies build robust training cultures. Midgett has proved that if you get in front of high school kids and gain their trust, it’s possible to show them that a career in the trades can be profitable and rewarding.

And they’ll become model students with their eyes on the prize.

Whether it's for high school students or new employees in a company, training has to be regimented, Midgett says.

“There’s a process to training,” he says. “And it’s how you will exponentially fix some things in your company…you will experience growth, have lower turnover, and you'll have a recruiting mechanism in place.”

Midgett adds that starting a training program isn’t the end of the process. 

“Training is an ongoing process,” he says. “It’s not like healthcare and you’ll just use it when you need it. Training is always ongoing.”

When the lightbulb for this concept goes off, he says, students and employees connect to how workplace knowledge leads to job stability and all the perks that come with higher wages.

Class dismissed, for now. 

Ken Midgett recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel on the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Midgett’s thoughts on:

  • [5:26]: How Midgett got students interested in the plumbing program

  • [19:16]: The importance of implementing a training culture

  • [22:09]: Why leadership needs to be involved in training

  • [24:08]: The need for creating a training budget

  • [28:00]: How organizations can incentivize employees with training

To hear more stories from the trades, subscribe to Toolbox for the Trades on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, or anywhere you get podcasts.

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About the Show

Toolbox for the Trades is a podcast where top service professionals share the tips, tricks, and tactics they use to succeed in their industry. Hosted by Jackie Aubel, this podcast is brought to you by ServiceTitan—the leading home and commercial field service software.

Episodes will feature stories and strategies to help contractors grow and scale their service business.

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