Is it becoming harder and harder to find and hire skilled workers for your residential home services business? If so, you are not alone. The U.S. is in the midst of an unprecedented skilled labor shortage that is affecting virtually every industry.

The source of the problem is two-fold: as vocational training programs have disappeared from most high schools, significantly fewer young people are pursuing careers in the trades, while at the same time, existing workers are aging out of the skilled labor trades, resulting in a critical labor shortage.

Meanwhile, the need for plumbers, HVAC technicians and electricians continues to grow. But without a consistent pipeline for new talent, business owners like you can’t take advantage of the opportunity to grow your business. There simply are not enough trained technicians in need of employment to meet the demands of the residential home services industry.

Employers are having to work harder to recruit and retain workers by offering higher wages, more incentives and even offering to train workers with no previous experience in HVAC, plumbing or electrical work. Rather than experience, business owners are looking for quality people with a strong work ethic and curiosity to learn new skills.

Build your own workforce by offering online technical training.

One obvious solution to the problem is to recruit and train your own workforce from the ground up. But developing your own technical training program can be time-consuming, costly and comes with its own share of frustrations.

NexTech Academy is self-paced, online technical training program that makes it easy to implement industry-leading technical training in your business without the headache or expense. Available to Nexstar Network members, NexTech is a wonderful onboarding tool to gauge if someone has the aptitude and potential to grow in the field. Because it’s self-paced and structured on a subscription pay-as-you-go model, companies can invest with minimal risk.

NexTech Academy provides students with the online technical training, hands-on skills assessments and sales and service skills they need to begin a rewarding career in one of these skilled trades. Your business and the industry will gain a well-rounded technician who is not only qualified, but confident and professional.

Support for your online technical training program.

We provide the structure and the curriculum, all you need to provide is a local training leader to help guide employees through the program, access to a computer, internet connection, a valid email address, and a quiet place to work. For the hands-on portion of their training, you will need to provide access to tools and equipment to complete the skill assessments.

NexTech Academy coaches work with local training leaders (a designated manager or senior technician within your company who works with new apprentices) to successfully implement the training program in their businesses. Our coaches are experienced professionals who have worked in the industry and understand the challenges you face when recruiting and training new technicians. They will work with you to help facilitate enrollment and navigation of the program and can help with teaching strategies for skills assessments. When you need support, NexTech Academy coaches are here to help.

Employee retention is also critical to success in a competitive market such as this. According to a 2018 Workforce Learning Report by LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers.

To that end, NexTech incorporates in-person training and encourages students to attend the Nexstar Service System course and the Advanced Sales and Service course as part of the curriculum. Completing the in-person classes allows them to network with like-minded people and exposes them to best practices to inspire them to grow in the industry.

The only online vocational training program to include soft skills training.

Residential work in the HVAC, plumbing and electrical trades is different than commercial or new construction. They need to be problem solvers and think beyond installation work. Their one-on-one interaction with homeowners requires a higher level of customer service and communication skills. The NexTech curriculum integrates soft skills training to ensure graduates who complete our program will be able to go into the field and build lasting relationships with customers to help grow your business.

Without question, the people you hire to go into the field and interact with your customers are your most valuable asset and greatest opportunity for growth. NexTech Academy provides flexible, cost-effective, online technical training to help you build the workforce you need to succeed. Learn more about our vocational training programs.

Contact us today