Innovative team members are ecstatic to announce the launch of our new service technician apprenticeship. The program, which is the first of its kind in the nation, allows service technicians to earn their ammonia journeyman’s certificate while continuing to work throughout the country.

“We always want to be a leader in everything we do,” said David Piller, Vice President at Innovative. “We felt that there was an opportunity here for growth on the technician side. Innovative is striving to become a world-class service provider.”

The apprenticeship program is provided through the United States Department of Labor. It’s the first one of its kind for ammonia service technicians.

Innovative wanted to forge a completely new type of apprenticeship program, building a training infrastructure that allows us to provide classroom learning for our service technicians while they’re on assignment throughout the United States. This allows our team to complete training exercises without interrupting their daily tour operations.

The opportunity to earn a journeyman’s card will be available to Innovative service technicians beginning in January 2019. It’s a three-year course with 6,000 field hours and 432 classroom hours. The course is free to employees with a 2-year work contract after completion.

To make achieving a card while working possible, we have broken the classroom hours up into small videos of our instructor teaching the information, paired with a first-person view of the work actually being performed. Following the informational session, prospective journeymen will physically perform the task that particular lesson is on.

Our new program has been in the works for a few years now. We’ve worked closely with RETA and IIAR members, as well as the US Department of Labor, to bring this idea to fruition. The education level a technician receives with a journeyman’s card is equivalent to a college degree in ammonia refrigeration.

Innovative is able to offer this unique apprenticeship program because of our access to certified, professional engineers on our staff, as well as our on-site Industrial Refrigeration Technical College.

Innovative’s senior technicians will have the opportunity to complete the course first. This education opportunity will help the more experienced technicians continue to keep up their own great work, as well as help newer technicians thoroughly learn the ins and outs of the job.

One of the apprenticeship’s primary goals is to facilitate career development for technicians that are new to the ammonia refrigeration industry. Any service technician that is hired at Innovative will be given the apprenticeship opportunity after their 90-day probation period.

At Innovative, we’re genuinely passionate about investing in our employees. We believe that putting our technicians in a position to succeed will ultimately make our company more successful. We’re committed to making sure employees have the education and experience needed to excel in their work.

“What I’m looking forward to most about the program is just to see how it grows the techs,” Piller said. “To see how they become educated and how they hopefully will feel that Innovative truly cares about their future as technicians.”

Ammonia service technicians play a fundamental role in Innovative’s business operation.

“The service tech role is extremely important at Innovative. We are not only a design-build contractor, but we go the extra mile to provide world-class service for our equipment,” our Continuous Improvement Engineering Manager said. “There is really no other company out there that provides a one-stop-shop for refrigeration systems, and these technicians will be there at the drop of a hat. Regardless of whether there’s four feet of snow on the ground or it’s flooding outside, our service techs will get there and will keep that plant running. If you really think about it in the grand scheme of things, we are keeping America’s food cold.”

The service technicians fine-tune our systems and make sure they are always running at top efficiency. Innovative’s exceptional eService program helps them with maintenance, work orders, scheduling, estimates, and more.

Here at Innovative, we always work hard to go above and beyond expectations to service our customers. We are excited for the apprenticeship program to take our service team’s training and education to the next level!