HVAC Careers for At-Risk Youth

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. - QwikProducts, the HVACR product division of research and development firm Mainstream Engineering, partnered with the Home Builders Institute (HBI), the workforce development arm of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The partnership offers specialized HVACR and building maintenance training/certifications from QwikProducts’ website to students in HBI Job Corps programs.

Under contract with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), HBI operates Job Corps programs in 41 states and provides hands-on training to more than 3,000 at-risk youth. The partnership concentrates on 200 students enrolled in facilities maintenance trades training at HBI Job Corps programs across the country.

“This partnership increases awareness with students we might not attract through our conventional HVACR channels,” said Ross Soyka, commercial sales and marketing manager for Mainstream Engineering, which recently created its Trade School Division (TSD) to provide training/certification, aftermarket products, and educational support to U.S. HVACR trade schools. “This classroom training gives students confidence in their abilities and helps take out the mystique of the hands-on training. It’s a win-win situation for Mainstream Engineering, HBI, and its students.”

QwikProducts’ training materials are free online, while the costs of testing, proctoring, and certification are funded by the U.S. DOL National Office of Job Corps through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. Students will participate in the following training/certification programs:

1. EPA Section-608 Type I;

2. Preventative Maintenance Tech;

3. Green HVACR;

4. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ); and

5. R-410A.

“HBI students who complete these tests and certifications are ultimately more marketable to HVACR contractors,” said CJ Tirone, executive vice president, HBI. “In addition to offering specialized knowledge and skills, an industry-certified new hire saves an employer training time and expense and can begin work immediately.”

Publication date: 11/29/2010

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