By H. Kent Craig
Special to Contractor
EDEN, N.C. — Before its national sales meeting here, Weil-McLain dedicated the auditorium of its training facility to John D. Cooper, the boiler manufacturer's former Mid-East area sales manager who died two years ago.
Cooper, who spent his sales career with the company, was instrumental not just in expanding markets but in training customers on how best to specify, use and maintain Weil-McLain equipment, Marketing Director Dan Vassar told CONTRACTOR. Heating 101 classes, which are open to contractors as well as end-users, are more popular today than ever, he said.
"Without the tireless work of John Cooper," Vassar noted, "Weil-McLain would not be in its position today as the premier supplier of cast-iron boilers in America."
Weil-McLain's School of Better Heating will kick off the fall heating season with two class sessions at the Eden training facility. The dates are Sept. 10-12 and Sept. 12-14.
Attendees can choose which classes they want to take. They include handson residential oil or gas troubleshooting, commercial boiler piping and steam boiler applications with live demonstrations.
Only 72 slots are available in each session, so contractors are encouraged to register soon. Visit www.weilmclain.com for more information.
The training center is in the same building as the company's boiler plant, which officially opened Sept. 27, 2005, in the former mill town of Eden. Both customers and plant personnel had direct input in designing the new facility, which incorporates modern quality control and assurance techniques and custom just-in-time methodologies, Plant Manager Ed Lodics said.
Asked why the company chose to locate the plant in North Carolina instead of its corporate home state of Indiana or another state closer to the "boiler belt" where the majority of its sales are, President Rick Millar said that Eden offered "an existing facility which is accessible by major transportation arteries that's central to both suppliers and customers, a welcoming community, a workforce experienced in manufacturing and highly motivated, along with good cooperation from state and local governments to make things happen."