|Steve stated tuition should be revenue neutral. We need to raise attendance, and have a target goal of 400 students per year to break even. Some of the reasons students are not attending:
- Location of school
- Cost of class, hotel for several nights
- Contractors “know” everything, why should I come, I’m ICPI certified!
There was lengthy discussion on relieving costs and how to bring more students to the School:
- Applying for a grant – Steve said this is not an easy process
- Advertising – Steve J. believes we do enough, asked Kris to give the advertising report for the School:
- Fax monthly invites to over 8,400 companies and email to over 90 companies
- Mailed Envelope Stuffers to PAVE TECH, INC. customers, who in turn mail to their customers – done the end of Feb., 2007 with 2007 Price List to ~22,000 customers
- School postcards, one time mailing week of 1/15/07 to ~19,600 customers
- Advertisement on back of School title sheet & listed on PT price list
- Advertise quarterly – ½ page ad in ICPI magazine; business card size ad in Landscape Architect & Specifer News (LASN); once a month in Landscape Contractor National (LCN)
3. Offer some contractors and companies 10% discount – the school does this
- Don’t overly commercialize PAVE TECH, INC. & concentrate on School
- Doing the classes regionally – Steve J. stated he used to do this, however, too costly, too labor burdening and not enough hands-on for one day classes
- If classes were done regionally, companies have to step up and supply the school with all the proper equipment, educating the instructors would happen at the school’s Franksville location – we do not want to compromise the purity and value of school
- Ed Fioroni stated we should start looking for facilities, however, it has to be credible.
- Steve Jones added a pilot place we could use, however, need royalty fees
- Ed Fioroni suggested pilot study with manufacturers, first
- Steve J. stated having School do classes at tradeshows is a huge expense (manpower, paperwork, equipment, etc.) and burden
- Steve Berry brought up the need to mesh ICPI and the School for Advanced Segmental Paving, there needs to be give and take on both sides
Dean Jurik brought up an idea of creating a task force/committee to discuss School issues and for promoting ideas regarding growth of School.
Additionally, there was discussion on using SASP as a national training center for vocational schools and/or regional training centers – this is one of the Founders Directional Goals.
Kris Jones went through the numbers of students from December 2005 through end of February 2007. The School has had 135 student come through, 118 in 2006, our first full year. She showed a breakdown of students by State; Steve J. thanked the Founders present who have sent their employees up to the School for training
Paul Lura asked the number of students that come through who make decisions on purchasing tools and equipment; Mark Skiba said some laborers and contractors that have between 2-10 years of experience. Bob asked what the percentage of students were familiar with the tools and equipment we use – most know the tools.
Steve Jones was impressed with the students’ knowledge base and how well they work together, which shows that the students are learning and walking away with some new knowledge. To reiterate, we need more students, at least 400 to break even. Ted Corvey brought up that for them, word of mouth is the best advertisement; Steve J. added we need to make companies aware that training their employees is important. The School is happy to set up “sponsored” courses to send their sales people for the hands-on training – pointed out that come May 22, Ted Corvey from Pine Hall Brick will be having his sponsored group at the School.
Ed F. asked what the current curriculum of the School was. Steve passed around copies of the curriculum of each class, stating that there is a huge amount of energy and effort that goes into each class. Steve J. started off with the Permeable Paving Systems class and thanked Bill Schneider and Chuck Taylor for traveling from Illinois to Franksville to teach this class; the Hardscape Chemical Certification class that goes over cleaning, sealing and joint stabilization training for professionals; our most popular class, Foundation Skills for Paver Construction, which goes over the basic construction skills for sales professional and installers on laying pavers; the Foremen Team Teaching course teaches foreman on improving their communication skills; and the newly added Steps, Landings and Elevations which covers interpreting difficult elevation changes, determining rise, number of steps and landings. Steve added the curriculum does not need to grow for 2007-08 rather we need student growth.
Volkmar added the following points concerning the growth of the School: need to have a practical approach, we have a core course of knowledge to sell as long as we approach correctly, we need to step outside the box because the School has great potential and purity does not mean everyone has to come to Wisconsin.
Discussion began regarding the Sponsorship Program. Steve Jones recognized Bill Schneider of LPS and Chuck Taylor of APT for their consistent help with the School, Mark Audrain of Krugel Cobble for stepping up and assisting Mark Skiba when he needed recommendations for classes, however, sponsorship is poor. Steve informed the Founders of losing Boral Bricks. He stated we are not doing a good job of promoting and reaching out for new sponsorships. Steve explained some of the benefits of becoming a sponsor, additionally, the below discounts apply to sales staff training and laborers:
- Interlock Society Member - $5,000/yr + $600 for add’l manufacturing location : 20 percent discount
- Paver Patron - $2,500/yr + $300 for add’l manufacturing location: 10 percent discount
- Base Patron - $1,000/yr + $150 for add’l manufacturing location: no discount
Steve J. introduced the new PARTNER level sponsorship, which is $15,000/yr for 3 years and asked others to step up to the plate. Benefits for the PARTNER level is under discussion. There were two companies that were added to the PARTNER level sponsorship and 1 to the Interlock Society Sponsorship:
- PARTNER Sponsors: John Kemp, Oldcastle Archectural and Ed Fioroni, Pavestone Company
- Interlock Society Member: Colby DeHoff, Whitacre-Greer
Steve J. was pleased and thanked all, encouraging other Founders to re-look at other companies for participation. Toward the end of the meeting, Steve mentioned that Mark Skiba would be resigning. Steve thanked Mark for the hard work he put into the School for Advanced Segmental Paving and wished him well, along with the remaining Founders.
Meeting adjourned at 4:30 pm, Tuesday, March 7, 2007.