Q&A with CEO Ken Goodrich
“It all started with a flashlight.”
by Bailey Schulz, Las Vegas Review-Journal
At the age of 10, Ken Goodrich, CEO and owner of Goettl Air Conditioning, was helping his father as he repaired air conditioners, shining a light on the machines.
Goodrich grew up selling, installing and maintaining air conditioners in Las Vegas.
He bought the family company, Racee Air Conditioning, at the age of 25, after his father died.
In 2013, he bought Goettl Air Conditioning.
The company has seen enormous growth since — staff has grown from 62 to 454 employees, and the company went from nearly going out of business to making $75 million in revenue last year.
Goodrich said he thanks Goettl’s legacy for its success today.
Q: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the HVAC industry is growing faster than most occupations. Have you noticed a workforce shortage here?
We have a shortage of tradesmen. There are 10,000 HVAC technicians that retire in a year and only 2,000 that go into trade school. It can be hard work, being on a roof when its 110 degrees outside. When people compare it to sitting in an air-conditioned office, it takes second spot. It seems like working with your hands has become a lost art.
That said, there’s infinitely more career choices in HVAC and financial rewards than a majority of office-type jobs, and it’s only going to get better because of the supply and demand issue on technicians.
Q: Is it hard to find qualified candidates?
It’s difficult to hire. It’s caused us to try things we haven’t in the past, like a full-on recruiting effort. We’re currently installing a chief people officer in the business to lead a positive culture and career path and the promotion of our brand to potential employees.
I think there’s a lot of opportunities in Las Vegas for tradesmen, especially young men and women who aren’t sure if they want to go to college. It’s a fun job. You’re not sitting in an office. You’re out and about in the world all day long with lots of different experiences every single day, and you generally make a lot more money than a typical worker in the office.
Q: What plans do you have for Goettl?
At the end of July, we partnered with private equity firm Baum Capital Partners. My goal is to bring Goettl Air Conditioning across the U.S. We’ll just follow the Sun Belt. I try to keep it simple. I just go where it’s hot.
Things are heating up at Goettl.
I guess that’s what happens when you do things the right way, not the easy way.
Applying at Goettl could be the best (and last) career decision you make.
Think about it.