Trade Warriors Takes a New Approach to HVAC Training

Maynor Service Company co-owners Brett Chappell and Jake Williamson go way back in the heating and cooling industry.

June 14, 2023
A teacher is in a classroom lecturing a class of military students.

In their teens, the duo worked for Williamson’s father’s company. More than 40 years later, in 2019, they purchased Maynor Heating and Air Conditioning from Anthony Maynor, who had built the company over the previous two-plus decades and wanted to focus on the training side of the industry.

Last year, Chappell and Williamson became among the earliest HVAC companies to participate in the Trade Warriors program, which provides more than 300 hours of hands-on HVAC training to prepare members of the military for employment as a service technician or installer at an American Standard dealer.

Building on Maynor’s outstanding reputation in suburban Raleigh, NC, Chappell and Williamson have grown the company into three locations, 170 employees, and 108 vehicles. “Anthony was admired and loved by every customer he touched, so we could take that base and expand on it,” Chappell said. “Training is part of our DNA, and as it happens, Anthony is also renowned as a top trainer in the industry—the best I’ve ever seen—so we employ him as our full-time trainer.”

Thanks to their own reputations in the industry, Chappell and Williamson had numerous people who were eager to join their expanding company. However, they also had concerns that the service technician base was shrinking at the same time the industry was growing. Trade school graduates were a common resource, but during a conversation with Maynor, he hinted that another option was in the works.

HVAC Training that Harnesses the Military Work Ethic

“Anthony had been working on a government project under strict confidence and said there was something we might be interested in,” Chappell says. “That was Trade Warriors, and once he got to the point where he could talk about it, I was excited. Three of my four kids went the route of serving the country. While that wasn't my path, I knew the value of people who understand discipline, respect, and work ethic.”

Maynor Service Company made their first Trade Warriors hires in fall 2022 when Michael Nash and Brendon Holloway came on board; they brought on a third, Joe Priddy, at the beginning of 2023. Nash and Priddy continue to make progress as service technicians. Due to outside circumstances, Holloway needed to relocate prior to completing his training agreement. “These guys are top-notch, and we get a lot of five-star reviews on them,” Chappell says. “They still have a lot to learn, but I'm OK with that. We can teach people what to do and how to do it, but the things we can't teach them are all the things that the US military helped ingrain in them.”

Building Talent and Passion in HVAC Service Techs

As one of the premier HVAC companies in the state, Maynor Service Company presents to new Trade Warriors classes at every opportunity. Chappell has been impressed at the quality of the graduates, whether or not there is a job opening or a perfect match at the time. “You can count on them listening, speaking well, and just being a pleasure to work with,” Chappell says. “They even have great handshakes, which you don’t see as much anymore, so it’s refreshing to see it.”

Chappell believes Trade Warriors is valuable for a number of reasons. “One, the industry is starving for good talent, not just bodies,” he says. “Another aspect is that the program is doing the industry justice by not just helping people learn this trade but giving them some passion for it—that’s what will make them successful. Finally, the program is a way to help people who have contributed their lives to serving the United States. Now they're coming back to the civilian world, and they’re counting on us to help them blend in and prosper. That's what we want to do.”

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