Do it Best graduated the inaugural class from the Fort Wayne, Ind.-based company’s LBM Academy. The company said it is equipping nearly 50 home center and lumberyard employees with proven techniques to drive sales more effectively with their pros and contractors.

“Our No. 1 goal is to help our members sell more in an increasingly complex market—so they’re prepared for whatever comes their way,” Russ Kathrein, vice president of lumber and building materials at Do it Best.

Do it Best said in launching the LBM Academy, it was driven to provide a curriculum that world help yard owners with career development for newer staff while strengthening retention of key employees as well.

Coursework at the academy included three days of training at the Do it Best headquarters. The LBM Academy included a leadoff session by industry consultant Bradley Hartmann, group presentations and activities, breakout tracks on lumber and building materials, kitchen, bath and flooring, construction science, and lumberyard management.

“We created our LBM Academy to address those changing needs to empower the next generation of LBM leaders,” said Kathrein. “With guidance from industry veterans, consultants, and vendors, along with our in-house experts, we’re sending this group back to their yards with the knowledge they need to take their operations to the next level.”