July 1, 2005
Q: My partner started a cleaning business but it has gone beyond cleaning to painting and includes some decorating, screening, and sanding hardwood floors. We need more training in certain areas, such as how to use spraying tools to paint faster and better. Where can I go or look for training in this area? Places like Home Depot are not extensive enough.
— G. Jackson, Via email
A: The home improvement marketplace is booming. You couldn’t have picked a better time to expand your cleaning business. Learning new trade skills will expand the list of services you provide and enhance your competitive edge at the same time.
Be prepared to invest your time and money to find qualified instructors who can provide the extensive training you need. Consider enrolling in a local trade, technical, or vocational college that offers courses on home repair. Or you can receive certification from a training course provided by a professional trade organization.
Trade schools offer home improvement courses for those who want to become specialty contractors. Certified instructors are available to teach a variety of trades, such as plumbing, electrical work, and basic carpentry. You also learn how to use specific tools, including spraying equipment for painting indoor and outside the home.
The National Association of Home Builders has a workforce training division called the Home Builders Institute. HBI offers craft training in skills such as carpentry, electrical wiring, brick masonry, and plumbing. To learn more about the Home Builders Institute, call 202-371-0600, or visit www.hbi.org.