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A Note from the VP, Jim Greatorex: January 2023

Home Blog A Note from the VP, Jim Greatorex: January 2023

Jim Greatorex2023 is set up to be another exciting year with double-digit growth for the home access industry. At Live at Home, we have several projects and new relationships that will be coming your way in the first quarter. In this note, I will share some “quick hits” that will update you on some ongoing projects and new partnerships.

Pollock Residential Elevators – Pollock had a well-attended webinar on Jan. 12,  where they talked about the residential elevator market, how to enter the market, and an overview of their product. Interest has been high, and they are looking to work with both members that currently install elevators and those that would like to add elevators to their product offerings. Some states do have licensing laws that will be challenging, but we will work together to understand each state's regulations. For five interested members, we are looking to organize a fly-in to their demo unit in Miami on Feb. 21 – 22 for a hands-on look and sales/service training. Please connect with me if you have interest in the product or the fly-in.

Click here to watch the webinar recording.

pulseM – Do you struggle to get reviews for your business? Many home access companies do. We all know that customers look at reviews when deciding on who to call, especially for work done inside their home. I highly recommend you check out the offer pulseM has for members, and also check out the testimonial from our member Nathan Coburn with Accessible Systems/Lifeway Mobility. Expect to see a lot more from pulseM in 2023.

White Paper Project – As we have mentioned before, we are working with Cindi Petito, a leading OT who has over 20 years’ experience in the home access industry. She is drafting a white paper on Best Practices for Collaboration with Clinical Specialists and Home Access Professionals. Cindi presented an overview of her work on this paper at the Live at Home Building Opportunities Summit in November, and we got a lot great comments and interest. We expect to have a draft available in February, and after comments and final edits, a goal of the finished paper by the end of March.

We need to set the standard for professionalism and define the roles of both the specialist and the home access professional. When we are able to collaborate effectively together, we bring credibility to both our industry and the clinician. In turn, it will also provide our customers with the best outcome. A huge benefit for our industry is that home access professionals will become the trusted source for clinicians to turn to when they need to have home modifications for their clients. Home access can become a small but very important part of the healthcare spectrum.

Apprenticeship Program – We are working through our action plan for this program for 2023. As we move forward, we are learning a lot and realizing that it will take effort from many members for this to become a reality in each state. This project has many moving parts, and I will explain briefly the ones that we are starting with.

  • Connecting with the Bureau of Labor – Our committee put together a program that would match what the Bureau of Labor would recognize as an approved apprenticeship program. We are looking to connect with a state that has an Office of Apprenticeship (OA). The states that have an OA will give us the best chance to get a program established. The states we feel we would have the best chance with are Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, or Utah. If you would like to help us and you have a company in one of those states, please contact me and we can discuss how we move forward. Once we get a program established in one state, it makes it much easier to get them going in other states, regardless of whether they have an OA or not.   
  • Finalizing the curriculum – If you have been a licensed contractor for over five years and believe you are an expert in any particular skill in the trade, we would have interest in talking with you. We need to have well-versed contractors help us choose the classroom piece of the program so that we have the appropriate training for each skill. We also will need to establish industry-specific skills for the program, and along with working with manufacturers, we also will need product category experts who can help put in place appropriate education for ramps, stairlifts, VPL’s, bathroom remodels, residential elevators, grab bars, and overhead lifts. We also will need experts in the common construction that is commonly performed in the field, such as door widening, modifying decks and steps, kitchen remodels, and the like. Eventually, mentors will be needed to coach the apprentice through their individual program If you would like to participate by helping us with curriculum in any of the above items, please reach out to Live at Home. Once we get rolling with getting these projects established, we will be able to have updates on where the program is at, what markets we need help in, and what education platforms need refining.

We realize this sounds like a lot, but it is manageable when we collaborate and get help from several people. For a project like this to become a reality, it will take an industry effort. VGM Live at Home is prepared to help administer the effort, but we can’t do it without help from our members. 

New Vendor Partners – We have three vendor partners in which contracts are in the works, and we expect two and possibly three to be finalized and ready to launch sometime in February. We expect another one to finalize in March. We are excited to bring some new products and solutions to the table.

LAH Wholesale Door Opener Update – We launched our wholesale program approximately 18 months ago for the HA-7 Entrematic Door Operator. We have experienced some learning curves, holes in the product line, and challenges in properly training members how to install the product. With that being said, we also believe that this product brings a high-quality and high-potential solution to the market place. We have been in contact with the product manager of the HA-7 who is in Sweden, and they are going to work to fill in the holes and help us better bundle complete products together. There will be a battery back up, and there will be app-controlled bluetooth dead bolts available very soon. We will also have an enhanced training program online that all members will need to have their installers go through before we ship the product. This program will be much enhanced as we move through the first half of 2023.

As mentioned, we are working on a lot of projects and want to keep you informed. As always, we thank you for your membership and wish for you a very prosperous 2023!

Thank you for the meaningful work you do in the communities you serve!

Best regards,
Jim Greatorex