“For the best return on your money, pour your purse into your head.” These are wise words from Benjamin Franklin who, as an inventor, statesman, and scientist, knew a thing or two about the value of education.

Franklin’s view of the power of learning still resonates today. Our work with trade allies across the country has shown that access to training and education resources is fundamental to the success of their business and to utility trade ally network programs.

No matter what energy-saving sector the network is organized around – solar, electric vehicles, lighting or HVAC – trade allies are often a utility’s first line of contact with customers. They need to be knowledgeable about utility programs, understand the latest energy efficient products and technologies, and adopt the industry’s best practices for everything from design to installation. Well-trained trade allies do a better job in the field, from communication with customers to making the right product recommendations. When customers and trade allies succeed, then utilities do too.

Delivering high-value, high-impact training
Training has evolved over the past decade to provide a better experience, and ours have too:

  • Five years ago, all training was offered through in-person workshops. Attendees can ask real-time questions, talk to the instructor during and after the class, and connect with their peers. This type of face-to-face connection is important, but only a handful of these events can be organized in the year.
  • Webinars were the next enhancement and brought instructors right to the office. For busy trade allies pressed for time, they learned from their desk without spending time away from the office.
  • Today, we have online learning, the latest innovation to the training toolbox and one of our most efficient and cost effective. It complements in-person workshops and webinars and allows trade allies to tailor their education to their needs and do it on their own time. With limitations brought on by COVID-19, e-learning is the best platform to engage trade allies with programs and help them build their skills online.

Training anywhere, anytime
A digital learning and engagement platform gives utilities a one-stop resource to help trade allies with everything from technology best practices to latest trends. On our own Evergreen iQ platform, many of our courses focus on enhancing technical knowledge as well as ways to help trade allies build better businesses—from marketing and sales training to business coaching. Utilities can both customize classes and have access to “plug and play” courses applicable to a wide audience. Our growing catalog with over 200 courses exposes trade allies to more learning opportunities than they can possibly get from a simple workshop-style program. In a recent survey of our platform users, 100% of respondents said they prefer professional education courses to be taught online.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you stuck in an old training program that isn’t working?
  • Are you ready to try something new especially in this time of virtual delivery?
  • Do you need to amp up your trade ally training for more effective results?

If you answer yes, then it’s time to take a deeper look into your training program. Utility trade allies are critical to your brand, helping you engage customers and meet goals. We can help you deliver a rich, blended learning experience that meets your program goals, better serves customers, and enriches the talents of the contractor community. With a nod to Ben Franklin, a utility investment in trade ally education is one that will reap dividends long into the future.