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Isley Plumbing — Education and Training Priority One

Isley Plumbing’s four generations of service to Central Indiana and surrounding communities has always been centered around providing the highest quality of service. It’s how they’ve managed to stay in business for over 100 years. What’s at the heart of that high quality level of service? Education. They were pioneers, along with other Indiana industry leaders in the 1960s and 1970s, in bringing hands-on training and education together. Today, they are invested as ever.

“Brad and Doug’s grandma and grandpa would be very proud of their continued involvement in, and support of, education for those entering the plumbing field and for providing continuing education for their team as a priority as well,” shares Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association (PHCC) Executive Director Brenda Dant. “The PHCC’s goals are to elevate the professional contractor through education, training and legislation. Isley Plumbing has always been a valued partner in advancing our mission.”

Plumbing is the only trade in Indiana that requires a statewide license and the requirements to hold that license are set. In order to become a licensed plumber, trainees start as apprentices and work under a licensed plumber for hands-on training while undergoing educational classroom training. The school, Mechanical Skills, Inc., is the largest apprentice school in the country with over 600 students currently enrolled.

“State certified plumbers will undergo 7600 hours of hands-on training and experience coupled with over 576 hours of classroom work,” shares Dant. “Many of them work all day and then go to school at night. Then, they sit for an exam and upon passing will become a journeyman plumber — one who can go by themselves out on service calls. It takes a licensed plumber/business to hire an employee and invest in their hands-on training while they work toward certification. Isley Plumbing is a leader in hiring and then educating and training their future journeymen.”

The school also trains future plumbers on communication or soft skills. In tandem with the school’s training, Isley Plumbing is focused on leading by example with their in-training plumbers working alongside seasoned plumbers learning how to apply their classroom education to actual technical skills in the field and utilizing those communication soft skills when talking with customers.

Back in the early 1970s industry contractor leaders like Paul Isley recognized the need to come together to standardize education program requirements and then ultimately created a school to allow for the education to be managed and a curriculum put in place.

“Much of where our industry has grown and transitioned to goes back to a lot of companies like Isley Plumbing. Many of those original collaborators were family owned businesses,” Dant says. “Family is what motives this industry.”

Isley Plumbing couldn’t agree more.

“We’ve always understood how important it is to support industry education for our future plumbers so they get a real sense of classroom knowledge coupled with hands-on training from one of our own licensed plumbers and mentors,” shares Isley Plumbing Co-owner Doug Isley. “That investment in our people directly translates to the high level of knowledge, training and service our customers experience with Isley Plumbing each and every day.”