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Getting Into the Right Mindset

Before he joined Glick Audio and Video in south central Pennsylvania, Nick Cove was running cables for live sound–concerts and the like.

Before he joined Glick Audio and Video in south central Pennsylvania, Nick Cove was running cables for live sound–concerts and the like. After he was hired in August 2016, his boss, Jim Bowman, signed him up for the CEDIA New Hire Training Track, a series of 10 eCourses (and CEDIA’s Fundamentals of Residential Electronic Systems textbook) designed to smooth the transition into residential integration.

Cove, who completed the coursework just over a month after his start date, was grateful for the experience. “I thought it was really well-rounded,” he said. “It gave me a great foundation, helped me with some of the technology; it really got me into the right mindset.”

As he embraced his new position as a Glick installation service technician, Cove realized that while a lot of the fundamentals he had learned in the load-in/setup/load-out cycle of concert audio were helpful, there was a secondary level of customer care he had to master.

The most important takeaway when you’re in someone’s home? “Measure twice, cut once,” he noted.

Beyond courses covering topics such as “industry-specific math applications” and “cabling terminology and infrastructure,” Cove appreciated the reiteration of the messages he learned in the areas of customer relations and “retrofit etiquette.”

The course included “a lot of common courtesy kind of stuff. It was great that the training course hammered that,” he said.

The convenience of online training had its own appeal: “I could pause it and come back to it,” Cove said. As he eased into his new position, any downtime could be used to pick up where he had left off in the training. He found the intermittent quizzes peppered throughout the training sessions especially useful, helping him retain a course’s main points as he progressed.

Jamie Briesemeister, sales and marketing director for Integration Controls in St. Louis, is also fond of the “modular” nature of the courses. After hiring a new employee and signing him up for the training, “It was great that he could work during his–and our–downtime.”

Briesemeister and her firm, long-time CEDIA members, saw the program in its nascent stages as it was being developed. When an applicant came to Integration Controls with a background in both low- and high-voltage electrical contracting (and some cable TV installation chops), Briesemeister knew the training would be beneficial.

“It’s hard to onboard somebody when you’re extremely busy, and this gave us the opportunity to provide him with some foundational knowledge,” she noted. “The world he was in before was extremely chaotic–he didn’t really have anybody guiding him on best practices for installation, none of the systems were the same… aside from product manufacturer training, he hadn’t been guided really well.”

Jamie and her husband/business partner Jeff consulted their hire after each session, and the updates and info they shared demonstrated that their newbie was picking up the right info for residential jobsites.

That’s music to the ears of those who developed the coursework.

CEDIA’s online development team took two years developing the program. According to Matt Oelker, director of online learning, the team realized that the 100-plus digital education products they’d developed needed something else, something more specific: “CEDIA members have always wanted a clear track of online training for new hires.”

The team poured resources into the project. The final result? “The most comprehensive fundamental training you can get in our industry,” Oelker said.

Oelker is bullish on the price, too–there’s a fairly steep discount for the package relative to the a-la-carte value of each individual course.

But the true measure of the program’s success may be its repeat business. “We’re hiring again–and looking forward to using the CEDIA Training Track,” Briesemeister said. “It’s nice not to have to concern ourselves about mistakes that shouldn’t be made.”

The CEDIA New Hire Training Track is a specialized series of 10 eCourses coupled with CEDIA’s Fundamentals of Residential Electronic Systems textbook and is only available to CEDIA members.