(Source: Rain Bird)

Irrigation installation professionals now have a certification option that can truly differentiate them from their competitors. Rain Bird Services Corporation has launched a new, non-manufacturer-specific certification training program for experienced irrigators-the Rain Bird Certified Residential and Light Commercial Installer program.

This exciting new program has been designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a WaterSense® labeled certification program.

Sponsored by the EPA, WaterSense is a partnership program designed to drive the market for water-efficient products and services. Veronica Blette, manager of the WaterSense program, says that Rain Bird’s new certification will play an important role in encouraging the installation of irrigation systems that use water wisely.

“Considering the ever-present threat of water shortages, water-efficiency training for irrigation professionals is essential to reduce the amount of water used to maintain landscapes,” said Blette. “Rain Bird’s new certification program will be an excellent resource for that training. WaterSense is pleased to label this program for certifying irrigation professionals in water-efficient practices.”

The Rain Bird Certified Residential and Light Commercial Installer program is intended for those contractors who perform installations using pipe that measures up to 2.5 inches in diameter. Starting in July 2010, the certification program will initially offer four-day workshops in Tucson, Arizona, expanding to other locations later this year. Classes will be limited to six students per professional instructor. Each workshop combines classroom and field instruction plus a series of practical student projects designed to assess each student’s installation ability. All aspects of the installation process will be covered from the initial site inspection to system start-up and fine-tuning.

In addition to high-quality, hands-on training, contractors who become certified will receive a number of other benefits, including a self-promotional package with a variety of marketing materials to help them grow their businesses and make the most of their certified status. While the certification program is not specific to Rain Bird products, its association with Rain Bird gives it a high level of brand recognition among both residential and light commercial customers. Ron Wolfarth, director of Rain Bird Services Corporation, says that the benefits of this new certification don’t stop there.

“By becoming Rain Bird Certified, contractors are effectively telling their customers that they have skills and experience that can be trusted,” Wolfarth said. “Because our program has received the EPA’s WaterSense label, customers can also rest assured that certified contractors are knowledgeable in water-efficient installation principles and can contribute to a higher goal of water efficiency nationwide.”

The Rain Bird Certified Residential and Light Commercial Installer program is open only to irrigation professionals with a high level of industry experience. Participants must have a minimum of 1,200 hours of field experience, 24 hours of irrigation education, three years of irrigation industry experience and a passing score on a pre-qualifying exam. According to Robert Pfeil, training services manager for Rain Bird Services Corporation, this new certification is a rigorous test of an experienced irrigator’s skills and understanding of irrigation installation.

“Rain Bird believes that irrigation is a profession and not just a job,” Pfeil explained. “Helping to elevate this industry to a truly professional level requires both hard work and dedicated resources. It’s our belief that over time, all irrigators should receive a high level of professional education similar to the requirements that must be met by electricians or plumbers, for example. Our new certification program provides irrigation contractors with the opportunity to get an education that will set them apart from their peers.”

In addition to the new certification program, Rain Bird Services Corporation offers Rain Bird Academy Professional and Regional Training Camps for irrigation and landscape contractors at all levels. For more information about the Rain Bird Certified Residential and Light Commercial Installer program, or to find a Rain Bird Academy training event near you, call 1-800-498-1942 or visit here.

About Rain Bird Services Corporation

Rain Bird Services Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rain Bird Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services. Through its Rain Bird Academy program, Rain Bird Services Corporation offers a comprehensive selection of irrigation training courses for the golf course superintendent, landscape contractor, irrigation technician, distributor, business owner, architect/specifier and water conservation practitioner. Visit here for more information.

About the EPA Watersense Program

Launched in 2006, WaterSense is an EPA-sponsored partnership program that seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by promoting water efficiency and enhancing the market for water-efficient products, programs, and practices. For more information, visit here.

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