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PERC Marketer Technology Training Kicks Off Ambitious 2011 Schedule with Event in Oregon

Training program supports widespread adoption, growth of emerging propane applications

PERC Marketer Technology Training Kicks Off Ambitious 2011 Schedule with Event in Oregon (pdf)

WASHINGTON (May 3, 2011) — The first Marketer Technology Training session of the year, hosted by the Propane Education & Research Council and the Pacific Propane Gas Association, drew a capacity crowd on April 21 in Portland, Ore.

The training session featured two modules that are new to the program this year: Fill the Home, which covers residential appliances, and On-Road Vehicles and Fleets. Students took part in exercises involving real-life situations with the selected propane applications and participated in hands-on demonstrations by manufacturers Collins Bus and Kohler and their local dealers.

“Marketer Technology Training is among the most important programs PERC administers,” PERC President and CEO Roy Willis said. “We applaud the propane industry for investing in both the development of new propane applications and the training that prepares propane marketers to help their customers adopt the appliances, equipment, and vehicles that come out of propane R&D programs.”

Launched in 2010, the Marketer Technology Training program introduces marketers to propane technology that has the potential to increase gallons and offset seasonal demand.

“I participated in the propane autogas presentation and [the presenter] brought the materials to life in a whole new way,” Joe Westby, northwest region vice president of Ferrellgas, said. “He actually had a real school bus brought in for a little show-and-tell session. This is always a great thing for a group of this size as it allows you a little stretch time and the chance to put your hands on the real deal. I loved this!”

State propane associations that host the training can choose two of the six available modules:

  • Generators (new for 2011).
  • On-Road Vehicles and Fleets (new for 2011).
  • Fill the Home (new for 2011).
  • Commercial Mowers (updated for 2011).
  • Irrigation Engines (updated for 2011).
  • Tankless Water Heaters (updated for 2011).

A Marketer Technology Training session lasts seven hours — three hours for each module and one hour for a networking lunch in between to facilitate conversation and further learning. Class size is limited to 30 students to ensure the hands-on participation and interaction that make the program so valuable. The Marketer Technology Training program is unlike any other propane industry training.

“The Marketer Technology Training program is just what our industry needs! Having just attended the presentation in Portland, I came away knowing that PERC is working hard for all propane marketers, showing us how best to capture additional and incremental gallons in today’s tough market,” Lloyd Pope, vice president and region manager with Heritage Propane, said. “With the help of PERC, we can definitely get the message out that LP gas is … sustainable and has been for 100 years.”

Upcoming sessions include Raleigh, N.C., on May 4; Eatonton, Ga., on May 17; South Portland, Maine, on May 17; Concord, N.H., on May 18; Lebanon, N.H., on May 19; and Concord, Va., on May 19.

As many training participants have noted, Marketer Technology Training is changing the way that marketers look at increasing their market share. It focuses on exploring and growing new markets, as opposed to competing for traditional markets with other propane companies.

“The information during your session got a lot of the dealers talking and excited about new ways to increase our propane gallons,” Steve Miller, president of American Distributing Co., said.

This program is rolling out across the nation, with 33 sessions confirmed so far. To enroll in any of these sessions and see additional training sites, marketers can visit PERC’s Marketer Technology Training website at www.propanecouncil.org/mtt.