March 2007
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Capacity Crowd Fills First HVAC Excellence Educators and Trainers Conference

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Las Vegas, NV - A Capacity crowd of over 300 HVAC Educators and Trainers filled the convention center at Circus Circus this week to attend the first Annual HVAC Excellence Educators and Trainers Conference. The two day event featured capacity training sessions both days (March 26 & 27).

This inaugural conference is unique as it is the first conference just for the HVAC industry. Educators and trainers involved in training the current and future workforce of our industry attended from all across North America. Over 250 different schools were represented, along with people from Goodman Manufacturing, Amana Manufacturing, Johnson Controls. Fieldpiece, Bacharach, Hampden Engineering, the United States Air Force, Ferguson Enterprises, East Coast Metal Distributors, Legend Valve, the Mechanical Service Contractors Association, Watts Radiant, the United Association, Noland Company, Air Cold Supply, Ferris State University and many many others.

The focus of the conference is professional development for the educator and trainer. Some of the classes offered to the trainers included: Training Techniques that Work, R-410A, Combustion Analysis, Weatherization, new Heat Pump Technologies, Maximizing AC Efficiency, EPA Workshop, Carbon Monoxide, Hydronics, Green Awareness, Load Calculations, New Perkins Requirements, and 13 SEER and Beyond.

During the conference, a common theme came up from many of the presenters. In the next decade roughly 40% of the HVAC industry will retire. In addition, our industry is getting more technical. Adding this to the current problem where the industry fails to fill 22,000 new jobs each year, we are headed for a major problem. However, a few organizations offered some great help to the industry.

Steve Allen the director of education and recruitment for the United Association announced an exciting new program. Under the new program if a student attends an HVAC Excellence accredited HVACR program, they are eligible to transfer their credits from the school into the United Associations apprenticeship program. This is a win win situation for the students and the schools. Students now can transfer credits to any UA local and be hired by the 21,000 affiliated employer partners of the UA. Schools that have been thinking about getting their programs accredited now have a new reason to consider accreditation, it can lead to their students having more job opportunities. (The United Association represents over 330,000 members and 21,000 employer partners).

Shannon Lippold of Johnson Controls presented the CareerConect program. CareerConnect is Johnson Controls partnership program with selected technical colleges, universities and colleges throughout North America aimed at assisting in the development and recruitment of the next generation of skilled HVAC service professionals. Through this program, Johnson Controls branches collaborate with select colleges to choose the most meaningful program deliverables and develop a custom program aimed at enhancing student curriculum, assisting in faculty development, increasing community awareness and building a pipeline of technical recruits. (Johnson Controls is a fortune 75 company and recently acquired York International).

contemporary A big highlight of the conference was Professor John Tomczyk of Ferris State University. Professor Tomczyk writes numerous articles and books and is the co author of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology (the top selling class book in the industry). Professor Tomczyk conducted a program on 13 SEER and beyond for the attendees.

Julius Banks, the team leader for the National Refrigerant, Recycling and Emission Reductions Program conducted town hall style meetings to discuss the use and phase out of HCFC's and the required certifications.

Betty Krump the executive director of the American Technical Education Assocation conducted a training session on the changes in the Carl D. Perkins Act. Ms. Krump covered the changes in the legislation and how it may effect the HVACR programs across America.

During the conference 212 of the attendees began the process of the Certified Master HVAC Educator Credentialing program. This process is the highest credential conferred upon an HVACR instructor. Additionally, it meets the standards for the Carl D. Perkins Act an No Child Left Behind.

HVAC Excellence is proud to be part of the solution in the industry in helping aid educators and trainers in their professional development. HVAC Excellence looks forward to making next year bigger and better than 2007.

For persons who did not have an opportunity to attend the conference, presentations and photos from the conference can be downloaded at http://www.hvacexcellence.org and click on the conference button.

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