You could say cleaning and restoration is in Chris Curto’s blood. The Idaho-based restorer grew up helping his father and grandfather with the family janitorial and restoration business. “I remember being out there with dad as a kid,” he said, recalling learning how to use moisture meters on job sites.
Those experiences paved the way for his career. After founding his own construction company, he returned to run the family company White Glove Services, where he rebranded the restoration division as ARK (Advanced Restoration and Kleaning) and served for 10 years. Under his leadership, ARK (formerly White Glove Services), expanded to specialize in water damage restoration, carpet cleaning, odor control, mold remediation and repairs.
Today, Curto is bringing three decades of industry know-how to Atex’s training program. He is triple Master Certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification and has experience training a range of professionals, from technicians and environmental specialists to project managers and administrators. As the newest full-time instructor on the roster, he will be teaching IICRC-certified Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT), Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD) and Combo classes in Houston and Austin, Texas. He is joining the team after long-time instructor Dave Reimer is retiring after 17 years with Atex. Those are big shoes to fill, but Curto is up for the challenge.
“We are excited to have Chris joining the team. He brings a high level of professionalism and expertise to the table,” said Chad Hill, founder and owner of Atex. “It’s hard to see Dave go, but I feel confident Chris will carry on the legacy of high-quality instruction we are known for.”
Learn more about what to expect from his courses, the value of IICRC certification and what he enjoys most about the industry in our Q&A below.
What do you enjoy most about the cleaning and restoration industry?
I like helping people and the work is unique on every job. Sure, you’re getting paid to make wet stuff dry, but all jobs are different. It’s not like analyzing the same data every day. There’s always something new to figure out.
Can you give us a rundown of what you will cover in the WRT course?
In the WRT course, I focus heavily on documentation because, as a former business owner, I know how important it is to have proper documentation. I also cover the importance of an initial visit to make a good impression on the customer, then we cover the process of drying things out, equipment and the science behind the processes. I teach students why we do what we do, so they can then apply that knowledge on real jobs. The whole focus of the course is preparing you for the certification test, while making you more efficient and profitable in your position.
What’s unique about the ASD course?
The ASD course is a more advanced hands-on class that builds on what is covered in WRT. We flood a house for the class so that students get hands-on experience with how to extract moisture by actually doing the work. It’s very interactive so that it gets the mind working and locks in the information.
All training Atex training courses are IICRC approved and students can earn certifications by completing the courses. Why are these certifications important?
The IICRC certifications are recognized worldwide, so you can potentially find a career anywhere in the world. If there’s a building worth drying, the IICRC is going to be there. Certification also helps you be more recognized and respected by insurance companies and adjusters. There’s really good money to be made in the industry if you’re a hard worker and pursue the IICRC certifications.
You’ve been teaching full-time for two and a half years and have taught courses across the US and internationally. How do you approach the classroom?
I believe it’s my responsibility to figure out how to deliver the information in a fun, interactive way that sticks. I work very hard to be attentive to all students and answer every single question. Everyone is treated with respect so there is not hesitancy to ask questions. Even if it’s someone’s first day, I want them to feel comfortable asking questions. I let students know anyone can ask anything at any time, we respect each other and it’s a good, clean learning experience.
What are you most looking forward to about teaching with Atex full-time?
I’m excited by Chad’s vision. He’s very open to exploring new opportunities and is excited about the same things I am. He’s passionate about education and committed to providing a quality learning environment. I’m looking forward to the possibilities as opportunities keep growing.
Ready to sign up for IICRC-Certified training? Learn more about our courses and see the full class schedule online.