Even during pandemic, Anthony Plumbing continues to hire, pay trainees

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Posted at 4:00 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 08:13:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Anthony Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric has seen demand from customers skyrocket during the pandemic, so it is paying new hires while they train.

The Lenexa, Kansas-based company launched “Anthony University” about five years ago to teach new hires the skills for the job and to help them earn the necessary certifications. It has always paid those employees during the 12-week training course. The course includes classroom and in-the-field components.

Even during the pandemic, it will continue offering the "earn as you learn" option. The next class for HVAC technicians begins in September.

“It’s fun to see guys and gals come in, not know anything, become successful, and be able to provide for their families like they never have before,” said Steve Harper, a senior technical instructor for Anthony.

Upon completing the training, employees get a raise and must commit to working at Anthony for two years.

“We knew we were essential, we knew we were a really meaningful and worthwhile profession, and it’s really been proven with this pandemic,” said Steve Burbridge, president of Anthony Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric.

Keith McNamara recently graduated from the program. He’s now a certified HVAC technician after working in restaurants most of his adult life.

“The fact that I got paid during throughout that whole 12 weeks really made this worthwhile,” McNamara said.

Now his picture is on a truck and he goes on service calls by himself.

If you’re interested in learning more about Anthony Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric’s university, visit the website.

Here’s a Rebound Rundown for how to be successful when choosing a new trade or career:

  • Choose a career or trade that interests you.
  • Explore “earn as you learn” options. Some unions offer paid training or apprenticeships.
  • Read the fine print before agreeing to a program.
  • The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development is offering workers in the state displaced from COVID-19 scholarships to pay for online courses to earn a trade certification.

The Rebound Kansas City is our effort is to help metro residents play a role in moving our community forward. We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas to via email to and we welcome you to join in the conversation on the Rebound KC Facebook Group.

Whether you're Getting Back to Work after a layoff, need help Making Ends Meet during these trying times or need tips on Managing the Pressure we're all feeling, The Rebound has resources to find help. We'll also make sure local leaders are Doing What's Right to get Kansas City back track after a three-month shutdown.

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