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Developing Young Talent In The Controls Industry

by Ken Sinclair

I have pulled this insight from my young speaking partner at AHRExpo, Brad White, P.Eng, MASc, Principal, SES Consulting, Inc., from his article, "Knowledge Sharing to Drive Learning." He writes: "Only if you can hire good people, train them well, and ensure they continue to learn throughout their career will we see industry, from the operators to the engineers, achieve the potential we all know is there."

These words have been extracted from his article: “While technology solutions, like the ones I discuss above, are part of the answer to the education and training problem, it certainly can’t completely replace things like good old fashioned mentorship. I am fortunate to have been exposed to many fantastic industry mentors early in my career. One such experience was through my participation in the Young Energy program which sponsored my attendance to Connectivity Week, where I had the opportunity to be exposed to a whole world of new ideas and make valuable contacts in the industry that serve me well today. Young Energy still lives on today as a LinkedIn group. This year’s ControlTrends Awards will specifically recognize rising young talent in the building controls industry through their newly created “Young Guns Award,” which I will have the honor of presenting to a deserving recipient. It’s initiatives like these, their ability to connect industry newcomers to inspirational veterans and the recognition of rising talent that will be a big part of attracting and retaining top talent to our industry.

“It turns out that Google already knows this. A lot of the themes I talked about are echoed in that article. The main lessons I took away are to: hire the best people you can find (even if you are not sure what you'll do with them), hire people who cherish learning, and don't be afraid of unconventional planning processes since we also face a pretty dynamic industry. I think we do a pretty decent job at this already, but it's always nice to have confirmation that we're not way out in left field with our ideas, or at least we're in good company out there. Examples like these are good inspiration for how we can continue to push things and also a reminder of why these things are important if we're going to continue to be successful.”

From this interview with Ken Smyers, VP and Co-Owner of DMS Controls Group, LLC, more about the ControlTrends Awards and the process of identifying new blood for our industry:

Sinclair:  In addition to “The Young Guns” winners being announced and the ControlTrends Awards being given, what other events take place and what can the attendees expect?

Smyers:  We do our best to make the ControlTrends Awards as exciting and entertaining as possible.  The Prairie Ballroom is ideal and convenient venue for the ControlTrends Awards. The Hyatt Regency Prairie Ballroom is a short eight minute walk from the AHR Show floor inside the McCormick facility. The 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. time slot minimizes schedule conflicts with many of the other AHR and hospitality events.  Marc Petock will be our MC as usual.  We have a fast-moving, exciting, and entertaining agenda that promises to be a most memorable and enjoyable occasion for our industry.

Chicago is a fabulous city full of history and energy, which lends itself readily to this year’s (surprise) motif. Additionally, we’ll have the Hall of Fame inductees, the Petock Award, an update on the ControlTrends Museum, and something new — the Young Gun Awards.

We really appreciate all of the support that you have given us in getting the Young Guns Awards started. The Young Guns Award is in direct support of your efforts to “Grow the Industry Younger.” Thank you for helping us find the appropriate spokesperson for the 2014 ControlTrends Young Gun Awards, Brad White, with SES Consulting, who epitomizes the award, and serves as an outstanding role model, having found success in our HVAC industry at such an early age.

Ken Sinclair is the founder, owner, and publisher of an online resource called AutomatedBuildings.com. He writes a monthly column for FacilitiesNet.com what is new in the Internet of Things (IOT) for building automation.

Part 1: The Answer To Education And Training: Creating Your Collaboration


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posted on 12/4/2014