Coach Monthly highlights Joe DeLong, Workforce Development Coach

Q: Where and when did you start trading?
A: I started in the trade in 1997, as an installer apprentice for an HVAC company in Naples, Florida. I met my wife after living in Florida for 10 years and moving back to Colorado in 2007. I am a native Coloradoan and have been back here ever since!

Q: Is there someone who inspired your journey into business?
A: My brother is the reason I got into this field in 1997. He was a sales manager for an HVAC company and helped me get a job as an installer apprentice. He knew I was good when it came to working with my hands, and he pushed me to move forward in my career. I also had a field mentor, and he really took me under his wing. He taught me a lot of business knowledge and best practices that I use today, and continue to pass on to our members. I am extremely grateful to the multiple companies that have also pushed me to success throughout my career.

Q: What are some career milestones that were important in guiding you to your role as a coach?
A: The technical side of HVAC systems is my passion, and something I’ve always loved. Working at Nexstar gives me the opportunity to pass my knowledge on to the next generation. Obtaining my contractor’s license and other credentials in the trade has given me more confidence in my training and mentoring at the technical level.

Q: What brought you to Nexstar?
A: I took my first service system course as a technician in California around 2004, and used Nexstar operations as a technician and manager. I heard about a role opening up to train technicians. 5 years later, here I am!

Q: What does a typical day look like as a coach?
A: My morning consists of drinking coffee, eating breakfast, and watching the news with my wife while I get ready for the day. I typically work from 7am to 4pm MT (8am to 5pm CST), consistent with Nexstar headquarters. The start of my day includes checking emails, checking my calendar, preparing for member training calls, NexTech team meetings, and developing content.

I am currently setting up small training courses at NexTech Academy. My content development usually disrupts the second part of my day, usually after lunch. I will summarize everything I did each afternoon before ending the day. This includes taking notes and perhaps writing down work I need to follow up on the next day.

Q: What is the best part of your job, and why?
A: This is a difficult question! One of my favorite things about working at Nexstar is the freedom I’m given to get my work done. It took me about 6 months to get used to it! Now, I know what work needs to be done, and my supervisor knows what I need to do. I am able to complete my work in the way that works best for me! Freedom is amazing!

Another important part of my job that I absolutely love is personally coaching the technicians on the content I’ve written. I also love seeing these technicians graduate through a program I developed, teaching technicians in our member stores!

Q: What is one of your greatest superpowers?
A: I would honestly say that one of my superpowers is my knowledge of the HVAC business as a whole. Commerce is constantly changing, so you’ll never know everything. I keep my mind fresh with industry changes by educating myself, so I can educate others. Plus, I’ve been at this craft for nearly three decades, so I’m also a skilled craftsman.

Q: What do you do to relax when you’re not at work?
A: I love being outdoors! About two years ago, my wife, Julie, and I purchased a brand new campervan that we had always wanted. Taking the camper into the mountains is heaven to me – I only wish we could go more often! I’m a big kid, and I love playing video games and watching scary movies with my daughter. I also love disc golf and cooking!

Q: What are some of your hobbies?
A: Going camping with the family and cooking – put it all together and you get to cook outdoors, which is one of my favorite things to do! I also love spending quality time with the kids, because they grow up so fast!
And I love that Julie and I can go on date nights without the kids. My family is #1

After that, my passion became conditioning and teaching others. I never in a million years would have thought that this would be what I would do when I grew up – but here I am, loving every second of it.

Joe and his wife Julie with their beloved camper.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?
A: I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work with some of the greatest minds here at Nexstar. I am surrounded by pure greatness, and I thank God every day that I work for this amazing company.

Joe and his family.

If you are interested in working with Joe to start your own internal workforce development program, or if you are interested in having him in your store for a site visit, please contact him at (email protected).

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