One key to a successful organization is the understanding of the importance of proper training. The training of an individual to fill a position is vital to the success of any company. A Step in Time believes that a well trained technician can more confidently provide service to our clients in an “easy to understand” format that makes our service stand apart from other companies.
The first step to proper training is for the upper level management to fully understand the technical details of the chimney industry. The president, Ray Gessner, is a licensed professional engineer with a master’s degree in civil engineering. With deep study and understanding of the International Residential Code for one and two family dwellings, Ray studies the specific building code requirements which are placed on fireplace construction. These specific, and many times overlooked requirements, are specified to building contractors and are designed to provide a safer fireplace. Ray also seeks additional educational information regarding the fireplace industry. Each year, Ray attends and even exhibits A Step in Time in national chimney trade shows and conferences. Ray is a CSIA-certified chimney sweeps and a FIRE inspector. Ray is a past president of the Virginia Chimney Guild and currently provides annual training for Chimney Sweep University, www.ChimneySweeps.org.
Technician training at A Step in Time is personally performed by Ray Gessner. The first week involves intense classroom study. Daily testing regarding proper understanding of material is performed every day. The cold hard facts are that many potential employees are dismissed after the first few days of training. This might appear a little harsh, but it is important that our technicians understand the seriousness of their position. Our clients expect our technicians the have a good understanding with the regards of the condition of their chimney. A Step in Time expects our technicians to study and pay close attention during the initial training period.
The second week of training involves hands on field experience with various chimney systems. Usually this involves inspection of existing systems and a question and answer format. Finally it ends with discussion. Nearly half of our technicians will begin to “ride along” with more advanced sweeps. The next two weeks will be filled with part class, part field training.
At the end of the third week, our class of chimney sweeps will be tested regarding their knowledge of chimney cleaning and repair. Many of these individuals will already have previous experience in the chimney sweeping trade. The top 50 percent of the class are usually offered the position as chimney technician. The lower 50 percent are usually offered a position as a chimney sweep helper. Our chimney technicians are likely paid the highest in the industry. Since our website is “well-known” nationwide, A Step in Time receives numerous applications from individuals throughout the United States seeking employment with our organization. The more inquires regarding positions at A Step in Time, the better quality of technician we can deliver.