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Taking a New Career Path During Covid – Lauren Broom, CPO Instructor

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Taking a New Career Path During Covid - Lauren Broom, CPO Instructor

Lauren Broom is a relatively new face to some but the CPO instructor has been branching out and making a name for herself in the pool industry. Over the last couple of years, she has reinvented herself during the pandemic as a top-rated provider of virtual CPO courses.

Pool contractors in the state of Florida have known Broom for years. Working for Florida Health for almost 17 years; she was a health inspector and regulator. During the past decade, she’s been interacting daily with them in the course of her day-to-day role. Many don’t realize that Broom has actually been teaching CPO courses just about as long. Now a Certified Pool Operator PHTA Instructor, Broom separated from Florida Health back in August of 2020 to start her own business, Space Coast Pool School.

Changing Career Paths During Covid

Transitioning from regulator and inspector to full-time CPO instructor was a change Broom was longing to make. Like many during the pandemic, Broom suddenly realized that if she was looking for a sign to make a change in her career, this was it. “What COVID did, was it opened doors for me,” said Broom, “It opened up the CPO class to go virtual. Since April of 2020, they’ve had everything set up for us to start teaching virtual certified pool operator courses.”

“I think that the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, which I’m certified through, has the people and resources to get that training standardized and then get it out to us instructors to able to teach,” said Broom.

Transitioning To Full-Time CPO Instructor

In explaining what prompted her to want to seek a new career path, Broom explained, “I had plateaued at the health department. The room for growth was over. I came to realize that I wanted to pursue education rather than regulation as a passion.”

The space for offering these services welcomes a fresh new approach and so far Broom has been very successful in disseminating her online program. Aside from being one of the leading female instructors offering virtual courses, what Broom says often distinguishes her program is her prior expertise as a health inspector and regulator. “I come from a different part of the industry than a lot of the instructors. I understand the regulations that a lot of people are dealing with because many times they will be dealing with commercial pools,” said Broom.

With her expertise being in health regulation and safety, Broom said she is looking to expand on the courses she offers and plans to begin teaching a live OSHA-10 certification course soon. While this new course will be able to be taken online, the requirements still stipulate that it be a live course and not pre-recorded.

Lauren Broom has been teaching CPO classes for over a decade.
CPO Instructor – Lauren Broom has been teaching CPO classes for over a decade.

In explaining how she developed her virtual CPO course, Broom explained that over the past decade of teaching face-to-face courses, she had developed many materials that translated well to a video series. “A lot of people like to go to CPO courses for the interaction they get with instructors. During COVID we were unable to do that so I began developing videos of the same material I would cover in my in-person classes,” said Broom.

In developing her content library, Broom said that while she draws inspiration from what others are doing in the industry, her focus is on generating her own educational materials that speak to the content she is teaching.

“It’s all my content, I’m not taking someone else’s YouTubes or borrowing someone else’s material. I create all of my own so it’s done how I would teach it. I’m using my own equipment, so when I pull out my peristaltic pump or my erosion feeder, I’m explaining those components and what they do,” said Broom.

In creating her materials, she explained how she tries to bring value by developing a course that is an engaging online learning experience for students. “I’m a true believer that you have to have some fun in class. If it’s more fun it’s easier to learn. I try to bring that wall down so they can learn better. If they’re not so worried about that test on the second day, they’re going to learn a lot more.”

Graduates of Lauren Broom's CPO Class at Space Coast Pool School
Graduates of Lauren Broom’s CPO Class at Space Coast Pool School

One of the ways Broom is working towards achieving that goal is with her podcast “Let’s Talk About Pools” which she started earlier this year. During a thought-provoking conversation with Terry Arko over at Hasa earlier this year, they discussed the recent chemical shortages that have been plaguing the industry. It’s that type of material that the industry finds invaluable. This fresh new ‘boots on the ground’ perspective, being what many are seeking for better clarity during this climate.

In understanding Broom’s decision to reinvent herself, making a sudden shift in her career plans was a sentiment shared by millions. In the wake of COVID, many chose to switch career paths rather than go back to their previous employer.

Consequently, the past two years we’ve all had to adapt to doing business differently. Broom choosing to capitalize on the ability to transition to offering courses online and working to establish herself as a leading CPO instructor were a risk she was willing to take. So far the gamble to make a radical transition in her career path has been paying off.

Listen to our complete discussion with Lauren Broom on the Pool Magazine podcast

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Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of PoolMarketing.com, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email [email protected] or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to [email protected]

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Contractors and Builders

PHTA Debuts Pool Professionals Pipeline

Group plans to launch a robust jobseeker education program to fill pipeline with new talent.

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PHTA Debuts Pool Professionals Pipeline

(Alexandria, VA) – The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) today announced it is jumping into the waters of workforce development with its Pool Professionals Pipeline, a new program designed to help its members find workers, drive awareness amongst today’s jobseekers, and foster long-term career progression in the pool, hot tub, and aquatics industry.

“It’s no secret that many industries and businesses today are struggling to find and retain employees, and this is particularly true in trades such as ours,” says PHTA President and CEO Sabeena Hickman, CAE. “Our members are looking to PHTA to help fill that gap and we’re ready for the challenge. We are incredibly excited to share this new program with our membership and give them the tools they’ll need to compete in today’s labor market while working to attract a skilled, diversified, and thriving workforce.”

Underneath the PHTA’s Pool Professionals Pipeline workforce development umbrella is its external industry awareness campaign and jobseeker website, Work in Aquatics and workinaquatics.com, launching in 2023. Work in Aquatics will seek to advocate for trade professions by highlighting the numerous advantages, training and apprenticeship opportunities, job openings, and potential career progression tracks that are available working in the pool and hot tub industry. From construction labor to lifeguards, sales representatives, entrepreneurs, and even engineers and designers, there are many industry sectors and paths along the way that PHTA wants jobseekers to explore.

“This program is a game-changer for our industry as it works to drive qualified talent to our respective businesses and our industry as a whole,” says PHTA Chairman Charlie Claffey, owner of Claffey Pools. “To be successful, we’re going to need everyone on board as we work to put the industry on the radar of those searching for an alternative path to college; a rewarding career in a healthy lifestyle environment; the ability to work away from a desk; creative freedom through modern design; and lifesaving skills through swim instruction. The possibilities that exist in the aquatics industry are endless and once you begin in this line of work, you’ll never want to walk away. Let’s share that passion with the next generation of workers.”

A steering committee comprised of PHTA members, industry partners, and PHTA staff will serve in an advisory role to help guide programming, funding, and more:

  • Charlie Claffey, Claffey Pools
  • Joseph Laurino, Ph.D., Periodic Products, Inc.
  • Andrew Levinson, PoolCorp 
  • Elizabeth McMurray, Florida Swimming Pool Association 
  • Albert Miller, Hayward 
  • Dominick Mondi, Northeast Spa & Pool Association  
  • Kevin Post, Counsilman-Hunsaker  
  • Teri Wiltshire, Master Pools Guild  
  • Lisa Zarda, CAE, US Swim School Association 

Members, partners, and others interested in becoming involved in the PHTA Pool Professionals Pipeline can contact Seth Ewing, PHTA Senior Director of Member Programs & Services, at [email protected]  

Media Contact:
Amy Willer
Associate Director, Marketing and Communications
703-838-0083, ext. 121 | [email protected]

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Pinch A Penny Title Sponsor of Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships

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Pinch A Penny Title Sponsor of Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships

CLEARWATER, FL / ACCESSWIRE / November 4, 2022 / Pinch A Penny, the nation’s largest swimming pool retail and backyard services franchise, will be the presenting sponsor of the Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships.

The Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships presented by Pinch A Penny will take place at the Sailfish Splash Waterpark and Aquatics Center in Stuart, FL. The Class 3A Championships will be held on Friday, November 4 and the 4A Championships will take place Saturday, November 5. The Class 1A Championships will be on November 11 and the 2A Championships will take place on November 12.

Pinch A Penny is the top pool supply store in the country, providing customers with best-in-class pool chemicals, equipment, repair parts, and accessories. In addition to pool supply retail, Pinch A Penny offers ongoing maintenance and repair services, like water testing and pool service, as well as pool renovations, pressure washing, landscape lighting and more.

Earlier this year, Pinch A Penny served as a sponsor for teams from Texas and Florida teams in the Special Olympics USA Games, where more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean competed across 19 sporting events. It was part of Pinch A Penny’s charitable giving program, Be the Splash, which is a long-time partner of the Special Olympics organization.

Florida High School Athletic Association - FHSAA

“Pinch A Penny is excited to extend its longtime partnership with the Florida High School Athletic Association by once again sponsoring the Swimming & Diving State Championships,” said Kendall Large, Pinch A Penny’s Vice President of Marketing. “Pinch A Penny has a tremendous presence across Florida, and we’re committed to supporting the communities we serve. We look forward to a great competition in Stuart over the next two weekends and wish all of the athletes the best of luck!”

For more information about Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships presented by Pinch A Penny, please visit https://fhsaa.com/.

About Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa

Founded in 1975, Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa has grown from one store to nearly 270 locations across the Southeastern U.S. and Texas. Pinch A Penny has developed a reputation for delivering best-in-class customer service and expertise in pool care while offering the highest quality in products and supplies. These qualities have earned Pinch A Penny inclusion in top industry rankings, such as the 2021 Entrepreneur Franchise 500, Franchise Business Review Top 200, Franchise Gator Top 100, and Franchise Times Top 200+, as well as Franchise Business Review’s Top Franchises for Women and Top Franchises for Veterans. Additionally, Pinch A Penny was selected as the silver winner for Franchise Update’s prestigious STAR Award for Franchisee Satisfaction and named one of the Top 50 Recession-Proof Franchises by Franchise Business Review.

Taking a family approach to business, Pinch A Penny provides its customers, franchisees, and employees with all the necessary resources to carry on its tradition of quality, reliability, and expertise in a fun, family-oriented atmosphere. The brand also provides customers a one-stop-shop for all their pool and spa supply needs with complete lines of pool chemicals, equipment, as well as maintenance parts and accessories.

For more information about Pinch A Penny, please visit https://pinchapenny.com/.

Media Contact:

Kevin Behan
(919) 459-3595
[email protected]

SOURCE: Pinch A Penny

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Pool Cleaner / Vampire Slayer – Day Shift on NetFlix

Just in time for Halloween, Day Shift features Jamie Foxx as an unlikely pool cleaner / vampire hunter.

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Pool Cleaner / Vampire Slayer - Day Shift on NetFlix

It’s very rare that a pool cleaner is the focus of a big-budget Hollywood film ($100 million budget). While Jamie Foxx is a versatile actor who has played every conceivable role imaginable, he probably never thought that someday he’d be playing a hard-on-his-luck pool guy.

Pool Cleaner By Day, Vampire Hunter By Night

In the Netflix horror film Day Shift, directed by former stuntman J.J. Perry in his directorial debut; Foxx’s character Bud Jablonski is a vampire slayer who is part of a union of hunters that operate behind the scenes keeping society free of the silent scourge of Nosferatu. As a pool cleaner by day, and vampire killer by night, Jablonski spends his time fighting the undead and uses the pool service job as a disguise to blend in. Whatever free time is left after that is spent fighting the occasional green pool.

Best known for his career as a rapper, Snoop Dogg teams up with Foxx for the comedy horror as Big John Elliot, a long-time friend, and legendary vampire hunter in his own right. When things go awry for Jablonski, Big John steps up to vouch for him with the union and help him settle the score.

Pool Cleaner By Day, Vampire Hunter By Night - Foxx Teams Up With Snoop Dogg in Day Shift - Netflix
Pool Cleaner By Day, Vampire Hunter By Night – Foxx Teams Up With Snoop Dogg in Day Shift – Netflix

Film critics so far are mixed on Day Shift, IMDB has it rated at 6.1 while a 56% Rotten Tomatoes score gives it a slightly similar rating. All in all, critics were pretty brutal while viewer scores tended to trend higher. I watched the film myself and I can tell you that although there were some entertaining moments, this is the type of popcorn flick that you probably won’t remember 10 minutes after you watch it. There’s not a lot of world-building or character development going on in Day Shift. The action scenes were fun to watch but after a while, your brain starts searching for a rationalization for why in the world this movie was trending. For what it is, Day Shift is a fun little horror flick that will appeal to fans of the genre but certainly won’t rival any past success Foxx has seen at the box office.

Pool cleaner / Vampire Hunter - Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx plays an out-on-his-luck pool cleaner in the new horror film – Day Shift (2022) – Netflix

All in all the pool cleaner / Van Helsing shtick gets old almost immediately and is underplayed throughout the remainder of the film. Honestly, I feel like the movie may be a miss with pool pros as well. The image of Foxx cruising around town in an old dilapidated pool truck is a tired cliché we’ve seen played out again and again. We’re eager to discuss movies with pools and pool cleaning professionals on the silver screen. Unfortunately, this isn’t the breakout moment the industry has been waiting for. I’ll leave it up to you whether or not you should put this one on your Halloween movie list. While I’m a fan of pool cleaners and certainly a big fan of horror movies in general, this one probably won’t get a rewatch from me anytime soon.

Featured Photo Credit: Netflix

4.8/5 - (13 votes)

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