Learning center

Garrett Johnson on the PERC Learning Center and Why It’s Beneficial for Propane Professionals

Garrett Johnson

Learning Center Coordinator, Propane Education & Research Council

Describe your current role in your business.

I am the first point of contact at the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) for all matters relating to The Learning Center. Many BPN readers have probably contacted me over the past couple of years as the industry navigates the evolution of the learning center and online training. Along with Vice President of Security Eric Kuster and the PERC Security team, we are working to maintain and improve our online training and resources for the benefit of the industry.

What is the biggest challenge facing the industry right now and what are you doing in your business to overcome it?

There is no greater challenge for our industry than environmental messaging. We live in a rapidly changing political, technological and cultural time, where attitudes towards climate and energy are not what they were even when I was a child (and I’m only 26). We in the industry know that propane has a positive and vital role to play in today’s energy conversation, and PERC staff take the responsibility of promoting the environmental benefits of propane seriously.

Is there a tool or technology you rely on to do your job?

I rely the most on the learning management system itself. It is my duty to know the system as intimately as possible so that I can continue to provide excellent customer service and make significant improvements to the user experience.

What is the most popular course offered by PERC?

By far our most popular course is Basic Propane Principles and Practices, which is the foundation (and only prerequisite) of our Certified Employee Training Program (CETP). I took the course myself, and as someone who had no propane experience when I started at PERC, it was invaluable. I believe the same is true for thousands of propane professionals entering the industry for the first time.

What’s the hardest part of working behind the scenes on the learning platform? What aspect do you appreciate the most?

The answer to both is the same: to facilitate the rapid evolution of our programming and the even faster growth of the number of users of The Learning Center. We are always working to improve the system and it is very gratifying to see how far PERC and those in the industry have come over the past few years. I’m proud of what my team has accomplished so far and I’m even more excited to see where we’re headed.

Can you discuss the role of PERC with the National Propane Gas Association with respect to the mandate of the ELDT and why it is important for PERC to be involved?

PERC focuses on creating curriculum and educational programs and the National Propane Gas Association focuses on regulatory and compliance issues. Part of this program involves training, and part involves regulatory compliance by being a training provider. It was important for our respective organizations to leverage our expertise to create a comprehensive program that the industry could use to more effectively attract new drivers into the propane workforce.

How do you keep your skills up to date and continually focus on personal career growth?

PERC prioritizes professional growth and development. I have never been denied a professional development opportunity, be it online workshops or in person; blocked time to learn the learning management system more intimately; or one-on-one with PERC people with advanced industry knowledge and experience. I wouldn’t have learned so much so quickly in my two years here if PERC hadn’t put so much emphasis on professional development.

What lesson did you learn when you were younger that still influences your actions today?

I value treating others with respect. Perhaps nothing has moved me further in my professional and personal life than this lesson, for which I have my family and my upbringing in small town Georgia to thank.

How would you spend an unexpected day off?

I love exploring Washington, DC on my bike on a nice day. It’s a great way to see places in the city, plus it’s a great workout.