Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Dwyer Group scholarship encourages women to enter trades

By REGINA DENNIS rdennis@wacotrib.com |

The Dwyer Group is looking for more local women to apply for a scholarship aimed at helping women pursue technical and trade careers.

The Waco-based company is kicking off the fourth awards cycle for its Women in the Trades Scholarship Program.

The scholarship is worth $1,500. It can be used at any accredited technical or trade school to obtain training in plumbing, restoration, landscaping, HVAC service or electrical, glass and appliance repair.

But only 21 women have applied for the scholarship since it began in 2012. Of the nine winners so far, none are from the Waco area.

That’s something The Dwyer Group executive chairwoman Dina Dwyer-Owens hopes will change as she continues to push for more women to enter trade fields.

“I think historically there’s been low interest because women don’t typically think about themselves in the trades, but I do know more and more women are considering it now because they’re seeing more women in it,” Dwyer-Owens said.

“It’s a matter of having enough confidence in yourself, and that’s one of the things women struggle with is confidence. But if they really do know the trade, if they really do know how to make the repairs, that’s all it takes is one job and you show the customer, ‘I do know what I’m doing here.’ ”

Dwyer-Owens started the scholarship after her first experience on CBS’ “Undercover Boss,” in which she assumed the identity of a trainee looking to become a service technician within one of the seven home repair franchises in The Dwyer Group.

One segment of the show centers on her interactions with Tanna Marino, a Houston-area Mr. Appliance technician and former stay-at-home mom. Marino told the undercover Dwyer-Owens that a Mr. Appliance franchise owner who serviced her refrigerator asked her firefighter husband to consider a part-time job with him, but she decided to jump on the opportunity instead.

Marino is now part of the The Dwyer Group’s corporate team for the Mr. Appliance brand and also sits on the Women in the Trades committee.

“We had 647 women that contacted us within the first week after the show aired that said, ‘How do I become a technician with one of your brands?’ ” Dwyer- Owens said.

“For years I’ve wanted more women to be involved in the trades, and I have just struggled with how do we get the message out that this is available to them . . . ‘Undercover Boss’ ended up being the outlet.”

Dwyer-Owens said only about 4 percent of technicians in the company’s franchises are women, but she wants to make it close to 50 percent of the workers.

Dwyer-Owens said having more female technicians can improve a franchise’s relationship with customers. For example, she thinks a female technician may be more comforting to certain clients, such as single or elderly women uneasy with male repairmen in their homes for extended work.

Technical trades can also be quite lucrative. Dwyer- Owens said an entry-level drain cleaner may earn $35,000 a year, while some plumbers may gross $150,000. The Dwyer Group also offers discounts on franchise fees to employees based on their years of service through its Hiring Individuals, Recruiting Entrepreneurs (HIRE) program.

“I think it offers women an opportunity they’ve never thought of or considered,” Dwyer-Owens said. “The career path in the trades is that you learn it, and then you can end up owning your own business one day.”

Frances Worthey is director of student life at Texas State Technical College, which has a Women in Technology student support group. Those students trade stories and advice on topics like being surrounded by mainly male peers and balancing their school, work and family lives.

“Sometimes what one person is experiencing in a field can help another person who may have felt isolated or may have felt they were an island by themselves,” Worthey said. “That’s where convincing them that concept of, ‘I can, you can, too,’ comes into play.”

Worthey said a technology scholarship program for women serves as a powerful motivator to help more female students stick with their career plans.

“There are lots of women out there that need career changes, that need to be made aware of technical education and the many opportunities that are available to women, and with that they need the incentive and the encouragement to make that step forward,” Worthey said.

How to apply

The Dwyer Group is accepting applicants for its Women in the Trades scholarship program.

Female applicants must be 18 or older and pursuing technical education or training in plumbing, restoration, landscaping, HVAC service or electrical, glass or appliance repair.

The scholarship is worth $1,500. Deadline to apply is Sept. 30.

For more information, visit www.dwyergroup.com/women-in-trades.asp or email WITT@dwyergroup.com.


Monday, June 2nd, 2014

“Design Your Life…At Any Age”

Today, I am visiting the George Washington Young Adult Borough Center in New York for the second year in a row. And this time, I’m delivering my Design Your Life seminar to some 200 students. These are students that other school districts might have discarded – students who have had an uphill battle to stay in school or aspire to graduate. But this school is doing extraordinary things that will not only help them earn their diplomas but also will prepare them on a path toward a career. And that’s the perfect audience for my Design Your Life seminar!

I usually give this seminar to new franchise owners across our service brands at The Dwyer Group and new associates who join our company. I usually address a working crowd of business owners and salaried employees about setting goals to achieve their dreams. I usually urge them to start thinking about retirement, just as they are joining our company. And it’s one of the biggest rewards for me — encouraging people to set goals so they can do whatever they want in life.

But why do you have to wait to set those goals? There should be no age limit for people to make this journey. And the earlier you dare to dream, the better your chances for reaching those dreams. The students at George Washington YABC will be inspired to do so. Maybe they dream of traveling the world, or going fishing everyday, or having a ranch, or doing mission work in foreign countries. I’ve heard it all. And it all sounded unattainable at the time for the people who wanted those things. But those are all real examples of success stories from our Design Your Life classes. So, for the students who are younger, more energetic, and getting an even earlier start on the career path, there is no time like today to Design Your Life.

Best wishes to them all!



Friday, May 30th, 2014

….communicating honestly and with purpose.









ACTION STEP – It is important for your team to be on the same page with communication!



Friday, May 30th, 2014

….communicating honestly and with purpose.

















ACTION STEP – In the workplace, we all have different styles of communication and we must understand that everyone is different when it comes to communicating.  With better communicating skills, we are a much more productive team!




Thursday, May 15th, 2014

…communicating any potentially broken agreement at the first appropriate opportunity to all parties concerned.

I will not tell the other person how busy I am.

We live in a face paced world and at times we may over commit ourselves. When communicating a broken agreement people don’t want to hear how busy you are, they are busy too. Instead, sincerely apologize for having to break your commitment and strive to complete your agreement.


Thursday, May 15th, 2014

…communicating any potentially broken agreements at the first appropriate opportunity to all parties concerned.

I will be adult and make personal contact.

In other words, I should not get some long-suffering assistant, or business associate, or spouse, to do what I need to do myself. Even if it was not me that made the double booking. I need to think of it as a demonstration of maturity and leadership. I need to think of whether I would like to get that message from the person I am waiting for or from an intermediary.


Monday, May 12th, 2014

“National Small Business Week”

As we kick off National Small Business Week (May 12 – 16) in the U.S., there’s no better time to congratulate our 1,600+ franchisees across The Dwyer Group service brands around the world for being in business for themselves, but not by themselves. As small-business owners, our franchisees are empowered to be part of a dynamic group of service brands that deliver an incredible experience to residential and commercial customers every day of the year. Our brands would not be the household names they are today without the hard work and dedication of our franchisees and their service professionals at the grassroots level. Collectively, we are successful because small businesses persevere in cities around the country and around the world that display these brands with pride: Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning, Glass Doctor, Mr. Appliance, Mr. Electric, Mr. Rooter, The Grounds Guys and Rainbow International. To all the small businesses in our great franchise family at The Dwyer Group, I thank you. #SBW2014




Thursday, May 8th, 2014

…communicating any potentially broken agreements at the first appropriate opportunity to all parties concerned.

The impacts of breaking (or keeping) our agreements

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a broken agreement? It can be not  only frustrating and disappointing, but also a drain of integrity, confidence  and trust. Depending on the severity and frequency, it can deteriorate the  relationship. On an individual level it can diminish one’s sense of self worth,  deplete one’s energy, increase self-doubt and create a state of inertia.

There are also negative business impacts in the form of inefficiencies, lack  of professionalism, a reduction in productivity, tarnished reputations, lawsuits  and an “us vs. them” culture.

Now, flip that upside down. When agreements are kept, trust, confidence and  integrity are built; relationships are enhanced; traction is realized;  efficiency is increased; and momentum builds.

Read more: http://djcoregon.com/news/2012/01/24/how-to-honor-your-agreements-and-keep-your-integrity/#ixzz318Q24gL2


Thursday, May 8th, 2014

…communicating any potentially broken agreements at the first appropriate opportunity to all parties concerned.



Friday, May 2nd, 2014

…making only agreements we are willing able and intend to keep.

Share any significant facts that will impact your ability to keep the agreement.  Share your feelings, specifically:

  • Anxiety, fear, nervousness
  • Irritation, anger, aggravation, resentment
  • Discouragement, sadness, resignation
  • Excitement, happiness, exhilaration.