Habitat - September/October 2017 - 17

COVER FEATURE: THE EDUCATION ISSUE

Beacon of Knowledge
New Education Center offers
more, better training
BY SANDY SMITH
NOT THAT LONG ago, appliances had a
few key parts. These days, they may have
highly technical parts-and a lot more
of them.
Just as appliances have advanced, so
too has AAA's methods of training-and
they are about to take another leap forward. Gone are the days when casters
were a celebrated purchase, since they
allowed appliances to be easily moved in
for a training session.
Now, as part of the Atlanta Education
Academy, technicians can learn to repair
appliances and HVACs-without having
to move them first.
But the improvements aren't just for
hands-on training. There is just more
space in general. Classes can be expanded
to include 100 students, twice as many
as before. It means no more need to rent
out event space to hold training sessions.
"We used to use the Galleria, which
is a very expensive space to lease out,"
said Tracy Bowers, Co-Chair of the
AAA Education Committee and Matrix
Managing Director. "We'll be able to offer
more classes, more often."
The new center is designed to meet an
intense need for the industry, said John
Inman, Co-Chair of the AAA Education
Committee and President of HMI Property
Solutions. "Our industry is always changing and the rate of change is light speed.
The education arm of the association recognizes that and is trying to do its very

best, so that the people who call the apartment industry a career are on the leading
edge. I see enormous value in that."
THE NEED FOR MORE
The new education center opens as there
are more demands for training in general.
The industry is growing and more new people are coming into it. At the same time,
vocational training in high schools has been
all-but-eliminated, meaning fewer skilled
workers come into the industry. It's up to
property owners to grow their own talent.
And that is not just about keeping tenants
happy because their HVAC works better.
Kimberly Cable, AAA's Education
Coordinator, says that the center will
include a new and larger maintenance
training room with individual electrical
boards and actual HVAC units so that
technicians can troubleshoot HVAC
problems. She expects that plumbing and
appliance maintenance hands-on training courses will soon follow.
HIGH-TECH CLASSROOMS
Of course, other training-including credentialing courses and legal seminars-
will benefit from the enhancements.
Earlier this year, AAA offered its first
active shooter class as well.
In addition to the expanded space and
new modern design, the classrooms will
incorporate SMART boards, an interactive white board which connect to

the internet, so instructor can use this
board as a large touch screen computer.
Classroom walls will be retractable,
allowing for larger space when needed and
more flexibility for concurrent classes.
There will be a state of the art electronic
stations for charging cell phone, iPad and
other electronic devices for attendees to
use while they're in a class, Cable said.
"Next year we will be able to offer more
national speakers as we'll have more
room to accommodate a larger number
of people," she said.
Inman said the additional space will be
well used. "In the past, when we came up
with a really good idea that had more than
35 or 40 people respond, we had to go offsite and pay expensive classroom rental
fees. Now, we'll be able to teach multiple
classes on the same day or have one larger
class. Saving the expense of having to rent
a classroom for several thousand dollars
means more money for the association to
return to its members in value."
When not in use for AAA education sessions, the space can be rented by member companies for their own training and
meeting, Cable said.
"Our goal in our training is to keep
meeting the needs of the industry. We
try to stay on top of the current issues
and conditions affecting our market and
adjust our training accordingly," said Jane
Fullwood, AAA Education Consultant.
"We work diligently to stay relevant."

SEP T EMBER /O C T O BER 2017

| H A B I T A T | 17



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Habitat - September/October 2017

Chair’s Message
Legal Corner
Behind the Initials
Education Foundation Recruits Up and Coming Talent
Beacon of Knowledge
Government Affairs
Volunteer’s Corner
AAA Gold Patron Member Profile: CsS
New Members
Advertisers’ Index
Habitat - September/October 2017 - intro
Habitat - September/October 2017 - cover1
Habitat - September/October 2017 - cover2
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 3
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 4
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 5
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 6
Habitat - September/October 2017 - Chair’s Message
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 8
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 9
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 10
Habitat - September/October 2017 - Legal Corner
Habitat - September/October 2017 - Behind the Initials
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 13
Habitat - September/October 2017 - Education Foundation Recruits Up and Coming Talent
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 15
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 16
Habitat - September/October 2017 - Beacon of Knowledge
Habitat - September/October 2017 - Government Affairs
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 19
Habitat - September/October 2017 - Volunteer’s Corner
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 21
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 22
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 23
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 24
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 25
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 26
Habitat - September/October 2017 - AAA Gold Patron Member Profile: CsS
Habitat - September/October 2017 - 28
Habitat - September/October 2017 - New Members
Habitat - September/October 2017 - Advertisers’ Index
Habitat - September/October 2017 - cover3
Habitat - September/October 2017 - cover4
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