Debate about the bottom-line benefits of investing in employee-training programs is common in boardrooms. But not at Elmsford’s D&D Elevator.
“Education is an investment, not an expense,” says Bob Schaeffer, CEO of the 38-year-old company. “If half of what you sell is labor, and you can make that labor five percent more productive, it translates to an incredible amount of money.”
By that calculus, D&D will have paid for its new training facility at 200 Corporate Boulevard in Yonkers in no time at all. The 2,500 sq. ft. space, which opened in January and can easily be doubled if need be, cost Schaeffer’s company an estimated $100,000, with approximately $50,000 in donated equipment from other elevator companies.
Why would potential competitors contribute to the cause? Because D&D Elevator launched the program to revitalize the elevator-installation-and-maintenance industry as a whole.
“This facility is designed to train apprentices and technicians throughout the industry, no matter which company they work for,” says Schaeffer. “We launched our own apprenticeship program back in 2003 to cultivate a better-trained workforce and to address an attrition rate that was rapidly becoming problematic.”
D&D’s new facility holds classes taught by certified instructors, covering all levels of experience. Schaeffer also has plans for a recruitment program down the road.
“This industry is like the best-kept secret,” he says. “The truth is, it’s a very lucrative business for employees at all levels.”