The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Consumer Contractor Connection (C3) online referral service has been enhanced with expanded functionality.
According to NATE sources, the service will soon represent a more elite group of technicians when new technician benchmark requirements become effective in 2009. And, contractors may now verify the status of a technician’s NATE certification as well as the certification’s pending expiration date.
Launched in 2002, C3 provides an online resource, at no cost to the contractor, where consumers can find contractors in their area who employ NATE-certified technicians. The site has received more than 25,000 “visits” in 2008.
NATE president Rex Boynton says the C3 will be especially valuable to contractors as 2009 approaches and the benchmark for contractor listings on the C3 increases from 25 to 50% of technicians NATE-certified.
“NATE is also raising the requirements to participate in the ‘Quality Circle’ program which is the ‘elite’ level of the C3,” Boynton says, and adds that the new requirement will be that 75 to 80% of a contractor’s technician force be NATE-certified.
Additionally, at least one NATE-certified technician will be required in each area of service and/or installation.
The C3 service also allows a contractor to verify what NATE specialty certifications a technician has completed.
“We expect the enhanced program to be particularly popular with our manufacturer partners, many of whom already require significant NATE participation among their dealer networks,” Boynton says.
To sign up for the free C3 referral service, contractors should visit the NATE website at www.natex.org and select the Consumer Contractor Connection in the “Quick Links” section.
In other news, NATE has announced the May contractor winners for NATE Bowl 2008:
• Division 1 – Cropp-Metcalfe, Beltsville, MD; Division 2 – BW Service Experts, Mishawaka, IN; Division 3 – Anderson Brothers, Kearney, NE.
• Most New NATE Certifications in May: Estes Heating and Air, Atlanta, GA; BW Service Experts, Mishawaka, IN; Anderson Bros., Kearney, NE; and Berkeley Heating & Air, Hanahan, SC.
• Most NATE Re-Certifications in May: Estes Heating and Air, Atlanta, GA; Stevenson Service Experts, Springfield, OH; and Kings’ Heating & Sheet Metal, Inc., Falconer, NY.
• Highest NATE Certification Score in May: Carl Graves, Estes Heating and Air, Atlanta, GA.
Complete details on NATE Bowl can be found at www.natex.org.