Opening Up Students’ Minds to Their Job Options

Vocations Can Include the Manufacturing Sector as well as the Trades

September 16, 2013
U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger discusses drawing young people into the manufacturing sector
At the Danfoss Drives plant in Loves Park, Ill., U.S. Congressman Adam Kinzinger discusses drawing young people into the manufacturing sector.
During the summer, the U.S. congressman representing the district in which I live visited a Danfoss plant where variable frequency drives (VFDs) are manufactured — which also happens to be in his district and not all that far from where I live.

Being a cheap date for my employer and always interested in what Danfoss is doing, I accepted a media invitation to attend the event. The congressman, Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., spent time with Danfoss officials discussing energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies and how federal and climate policies can positively affect reduction in energy use and stimulate local and national economies.

In a Q&A with the media, the congressman also spoke of the need to introduce young people to the value of being part of the manufacturing sector. This was a bit of a variation on one of my favorite topics — encouraging young people to consider vocational training. They both have the same point — for young folks to look beyond so called “professional” careers (whatever that means). The idea is to give them more options.

Kinzinger called upon the manufacturing sector to get involved in reaching these future employees early on in high school — just as many of us in HVACR encourage students to consider vocational training for the servicing aspect of our sector.

So it was good to hear his comments.

By the way, Kinzinger is just in his first term in Congress, but he certainly seems to know the value of spending time in his district when Congress is not in session. Earlier that day, he visited a nuclear power plant about 30 miles away. Then after the Danfoss visit, he met with the editorial board of the local newspaper. Then he did what every politician must do — he spent time at the local county fair.

Publication date: 9/16/2013

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Donald brian Baker
October 2, 2013
Peter, as an HVACR Contractor and Instructor of an HVACR training center I can not agree with you more. If we simply look at filling technician shortages we are not really looking after the best interests of our Industry. We all need far more that technicians and one should realize that it takes a special skill set to groom a professional HVACR technician. At the same time most of the technicians do not have the skills necessary to make a good parts counter person or outside/inside salesperson, manufacturers rep, drafts person, dispatcher, etc. What we try and do in our training programs that I have a hand in is to attempt to reach out to the masses and then hopefully get them into the Industry. From here they can find a path. We've had Suppliers, Manufacturers, Contractors, Facility Management and other firms who have all benefited from the knowledge our students have taken to their workplaces.



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