Story courtesy of siouxfalls.business. This paid piece is sponsored by Silverstar Car Wash.
When Jordan Shuman tells his new co-workers there are plenty of ways to move up at the company, he can back it up with his own resume.
The company trainer at Silverstar Car Wash has a career path not all that uncommon at the growing organization.
It started in 2014, when he was still attending Roosevelt High School and joined his buddies in applying at Silverstar.
“I was a baseline prep guy,” he said. “I worked my way up through all the branches doing a little maintenance, site management and now landed in the company trainer position.”
A self-described farm boy, the maintenance side of things came naturally while he grew into the training side.
“I just enjoy seeing people working and growing within the company,” Shuman said.
And Silverstar sets them up to do just that. No matter what your role, from washing a vehicle to serving as a cashier to progressive leadership positions, you will be trained thoroughly for your current job and prepared for the next one you might seek.
“From baseline training to advanced, we have manuals, we have a training program, we have a path to follow,” Shuman said. “It’s in your hands. If you want to eventually be a manager, we work through the material, and you can work your way up.”
With nearly 200 people across the company, the opportunities to advance keep growing – as does the need for training. Each new location adds 12 to 15 people, whether it’s on-site or in corporate support roles.
“One of our biggest goals with training is to make sure we’ve got a consistent experience from site to site,” operations director Andrea Vetos said. “So if someone takes a road trip from Fargo to Sioux City, they’re getting the exact same experience.”
When a new store opens, Shuman and his team don’t just help with initial training – they go back after three months and six months to review and help as needed.
“We deploy a team to open the store, and then we check back in because we believe in the follow-up,” he said.
Training also sets the stage for professional growth at an individual level, Vetos said.
“It sets us apart from other car washes and lets people know as we grow they have opportunities and a path to grow with us,” she said. “I could name 15 people off the top of my head who started in one position and are now an assistant manager or lead or site manager or are moving into the corporate side.”
Silverstar’s team often trains using a mobile platform that arrives via text message.
“The course is sent directly to your phone, and you can follow every manual and every course to work up into a position,” Shuman said.
“Plus, we’re always developing new things. Right now, we’re working on advanced training in leadership and a whole maintenance program built around how-to cards and videos. Need to change a motor? We’re going to show you how to do it step by step.”
And when the team comes together for large-scale training or events, it’s held at the new corporate headquarters at 1500 S. Minnesota Ave., centrally located in Sioux Falls.
“It’s a great space that gets used for training as well as training celebrations,” Shuman said. “We get together quarterly to celebrate one of our core values, which is fun, so we give out food and prizes and trophies and gift cards. It’s not just about training. It’s about building a culture and getting people together.”
As Silverstar has put more emphasis on training, more people have stayed with the company, Vetos added.
“We are seeing retention improve,” she said. “There can be a stigma about working at a car wash in general, but as our name and brand get out there and people see it when they interview with us, they realize what a career path looks like, and they’re seeing it can be a growth opportunity for them.”
That’s reflected in the feedback Shuman gets from team members.
“One of the things we hear all the time is that it’s someone they worked with or a mentor who keeps them with Silverstar,” he said.
“We have a Facebook page that’s full of people thanking other people for investing time in them and sharing how they moved up from an entry-level position to a lead position or are running a store. You hear that all the time. A lot of these people came here to wash cars and never thought they’d be a manager, and now they’re running a whole store.”
Consistency wins with customers too.
“Our customers love that if they come in they see the same people they’ve seen for years sometimes,” Vetos said. “They know them by name, and they know they’re going to get the kind of wash they want.”