LAUREL, Md. — If the pandemic has taught the drycleaning industry anything, it’s this: It pays to be flexible.
While Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI) courses may have been interrupted due to the pandemic, the organization looked to find a way to continue its educational outreach. Recently, 18 students completed the Institute’s first-ever virtual stain removal course this spring.
“Convenience was a huge factor for the students,” says Brian Johnson, DLI’s director of education and training. “The students loved it because they didn’t have to leave their jobs and families to come to the school. With the online course, they could develop this critical skill without having to be away from work or home.
DLI’s School of Drycleaning Technology re-tooled the course to work in an online-only format and added extra flexibility to help students succeed in the course
“The pandemic hit our industry hard,” Johnson says. “In our school’s 94-year history, we were only closed one other time — during World War II. With this course, we offered in-depth, virtual, live training. Demand was very high for this course, and we purposely kept the class size small so we could address any issues that might come up, but there really weren’t any problems.”
The initial virtual stain removal course was comprised of six sessions over three weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays for three hours at a time. The in-person version of this course takes three full, eight-hour days to complete at DLI’s school.
The course was a success with students, according to Harry Kimmel, communications director for DLI. “We’re pleased to report it went over very well,” he says. “Our post-course evaluations are all five-out-of-five stars — not an exaggeration.”
DLI will offer the virtual stain removal course again from July 13 – August 3. This time, the course will run over seven two-hour sessions. Space will again be limited to a maximum of 20 students. DLI plans to begin offering in-person courses again this fall.
The course includes a set of pre-stained fabric samples students use to practice their skills, and its textbook serves as a handy reference guide to removing stains when the course is complete.
For more information call DLI at 800-638-2627.