Instructor Workshop Continues to Grow

January 21, 2008
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Several attendees visit the Johnson Controls booth at last year’s HVACR & Plumbing Instructor Workshop. At the 2008 conference, instructors will get the opportunity again to visit with several manufacturer representatives, in addition to attending classroom sessions.

Get Michael Honeycutt or Gerry Kennedy on the phone discussing this year’s HVACR & Plumbing Instructor Workshop, and … well … one has to actually excuse oneself in order to move on to other tasks.

If you let them, both Honeycutt, educational consultant with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), and Kennedy, of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC) - National Association, could talk nonstop about the 13th annual event, to be held at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Va., March 5-7.

Each is excited about the upcoming gathering, which is earmarked for plumbing and HVACR instructors, administrators, and counselors of secondary, postsecondary, and proprietary programs.

“The HVACR and Plumbing Instructor Workshop is an industry-driven event that is sponsored by nine national trade and professional associations,” said Kennedy, who is chief operating officer for the PHCC Educational Foundation and vice president of education for PHCC.

“The objective is to provide instructors and administrators of apprentice and secondary/postsecondary school-based instructional programs with the technical information and teaching best practices that will enable them to effectively train the next generation of skilled workers for the HVACR and plumbing industry.”

Chimed in Honeycutt, “The beauty of this particular program is that it is the product of the entire HVACR and plumbing industry. When you look at who all is involved as sponsoring organizations, you see that we have such a wide diversity of viewpoints and missions as part of the planning and delivery of this program.

“But the one thing we all have in common is to provide our instructors with a forum where they can come together and learn from one another, hear the experts from plumbing and HVACR manufacturers and contractors, meet one-on-one with the folks who will ultimately be hiring their students and best of all, come away with a raft of practical information they can implement in their classrooms their first day back.”

Like Kennedy, Honeycutt is proud of the fact that this workshop is being provided by a wide and strong swath of the industry.

“This indicates to educators and administrators all across the country that we value and respect their instructors, and that we collectively, as an industry, want to be their 365-day partners. This is truly a program where you cannot say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Folks leave this program bursting with ideas and tools they can take back and share with their colleagues and students.”

Christopher Mohalley, a GE ECM-certified master trainer, will be a presenter again at the 2008 HVACR & Plumbing Instructor Workshop, hosting a session “New ECM Products and Technologies.”

TECHNOLOGY UPDATES

Honeycutt, Kennedy, and the entire workshop committee are still putting together the finishing touches to the final program. After the opening general session, attendees will have the option to select from nine different, one-hour-each technology updates - and that’s everything from new ECM products and technologies to new technology in the copper industry. For example, David Sullivan, of Johnson Controls UPG, is scheduled to present the “ins” and “outs” of World-wide Instructional Development System (WIDS), software developed in Wisconsin and used by organizations around the world to design performance-based instruction. According to the presenter, the software gives “educators a centralized curriculum development tool, provides a consistent framework for developing curriculum” and so much more.

In a different update, Dean Richardson, of Carrier Corp. will present “Understanding Condensing Furnace Technology for 2008.” This seminar is designed to cover the specific issues related to the application, installation, and service of the current 90-plus percent efficiency condensing gas furnaces. Areas Richardson plans to cover include sizing, variable-speed airflow, single- and multi-stage controls, plus setup and troubleshooting tools.

Educational breakout sessions will be in abundance. At last year’s event, John Herbert, sales engineer for Hydro Delta Corp., told instructors the pluses regarding ground-source heat pumps.

EDUCATIONAL BREAKOUTS

After the lunch break on the opening day, two educational breakout sessions, each nearly two hours in length, are on the agenda, covering everything from gas furnaces to refrigeration compressors.

For example, Wesley Davis, from ACCA, will present “What’s New With Industry Design and Installation Tools and Standards?” Davis plans to identify the skill sets students will need to comply with ACCA’s new nationally recognized standards, including “Quality Installation Specification,” “Maintenance of Residential HVAC Systems,” “Maintenance of Commercial HVAC Systems,” and “Restoring the Cleanliness of HVAC Systems.” He is also scheduled to address recent and planned updating of ACCA manuals, as well as other published tools of interest to instructors.

According to the workshop organizers, this material can be used to identify course curriculum opportunities and possible justification for necessary resources. In the program preview it states: “Whether you recently began teaching, or have been an instructor for years, this session will provide beneficial information that can be used in an instructor’s next class.”

The morning of the final day, March 7, will be filled with two more educational sessions - again, each nearly two hours in length. Dr. Katherine “Kitty” Manley, director of the Michigan Center for Career and Technical Education, will present two sessions. Her first topic of discussion - “Strategies for Engaging the GenX and Millennial Student” - is designed “to examine the characteristics of these two generations as it relates to the students educators teach and the workplace they will be entering.” In her second class - “Assessing Student Learning” - Manley is scheduled to provide an in-depth look at the theory and practice of the design and construction of instruments “used to assess cognitive, affective, and psychomotor knowledge and skill levels in education and training settings.”

In addition to her teaching, Dr. Manley serves as a senior consultant to the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute and consults for many Fortune 500 companies. She provides job and task analyses and test development services for such companies/organization as General Mills, 3M, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, and the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters.

Also on the learning log is a presentation from Richard Wirtz, associate director of education for Heating, Airconditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI). At his session - “Airflow - The Unknown Variable” - Wirtz is to provide practical application of how to measure airflow using various methods.

Educational breakout sessions will be in abundance at the 2008 HVACR & Plumbing Instructor Workshop, to be held again at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, Va. At the 2007 event, Julius Banks, program manager for Refrigerants, Environmental Protection Agency, provided instructors the latest issues related to EPA Section 608 certification and R-22 phaseout.

...AND MUCH, MUCH MORE

By popular demand, the open-format session “I Have an Idea!” also returns, to be held the evening of March 5. Here instructors get the opportunity to relay information that helped them in the classroom - ideas that can, in turn, possibly help fellow participants and advisory committee members. Prizes will be awarded to those who share their ideas.

In the afternoon of March 5, participants will have the opportunity to participate in a four-hour trainer’s camp, presented by Dan Desalvo of Rockhurst University/Continuing Education Center (CEC). This half-day creativity workshop is packed with high-energy activities and ideas, designed to rekindle that training spark.

Throughout most of the day on March 5, the Council of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Educators (CARE) will have its general meeting. The association will host many educational and technical sessions, from learning Manual J basics to finding better ways to teach technical subjects.

Among other items at the closing general session on March 7, Bernard J. Merkel, director of HVAC Service Training at International Training Institute (iTi), is to receive his 2007 “Instructor of the Year” award, as voted by The NEWS and AHRI.

Educators will also get the chance to talk to a multitude of exhibitors during breaks. Those scheduled to have booths include ACCA; Appion Inc.; Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI); Bradford White; CARE, Copper Development Association (CDA), GE/Regal Beloit, HARDI, Jay R. Smith Manufacturing, Lennox/Service Experts, Maxitrol, North American Technician Excellence (NATE), National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA), PHCC, Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), SkillsUSA, Sporlan Division-Parker Hannifin, Testo, and York/Johnson Controls.

“It just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” beamed Kennedy.

There is no registration fee. Participants are responsible for the cost of transportation and lodging. Lodging arrangements are to be made directly with the National Conference Center (https://resweb.passkey.com/go/hvacr). Lodging cost includes meals.

Visit www.instructorworkshop.org for more information or to register online.

Publication date: 01/21/2008

Nearly 300 educators and trainers from approximately 250 schools attended HVAC Excellence’s first-ever HVAC Educators & Trainers Conference in Las Vegas last year. The 2008 event is to be held again in Vegas, at the Imperial Palace Hotel, on March 16-19.

Sidebar: Agencies to Present

Government agencies, industry groups, and North America’s HVACR educators and trainers are once again coming together to discuss new technologies and legislative issues, as well as conduct a wide variety of train-the-trainer workshops, at the 2008 HVAC Excellence National Educators and Trainers Conference, to be held at the Imperial Palace Hotel in Las Vegas, March 16-19.

Dr. Patricia Stanley, deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), will be one featured speaker. She is to discuss changes in federal accountability, specifically for HVACR technical programs. Dr. Stanley is scheduled to point out how federal changes are affecting, and will affect, both secondary and postsecondary programs.

“HVACR educators need to be aware that new federal legislation can affect the funding of their programs,” said Howard Weiss, director of marketing for HVAC Excellence.

The theme of this year’s event is “Targeting Tomorrow’s Technician.” HVAC Excellence said it opted for such a focus since the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that with the retiring Baby Boomers, 60 percent of the HVACR industry workforce will need to be replaced in the next decade.

“With dramatic changes in technologies, the conference will focus on teaching new and changing technologies to the educators and trainers,” said Weiss. “Continuing education units will be issued for each workshop attended.”

Another scheduled speaker, Julius Banks from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is to address the use and phaseout of HCFCs. Banks, team leader and manager for EPA’s National Refrigerant Recycling and Emissions Reduction Program, is scheduled to discuss, among other topics and issues, the Clean Air Act of 1990, refrigerant recycling and EPA compliance requirements, the use and phaseout of HCFC refrigerants, required certification, current regulations, and proposed regulations changes.

“Anyone involved in training the current or future workforce of our industry is invited to attend the presentation,” said Weiss.

“Upon completion of his presentation, time will be provided for the audience to ask questions, clarify EPA requirements, or dispel rumors within the industry.”

PLENTY TO BE COVERED AND DISCUSSED
In addition to both the EPA and DOE, other presenters at the second annual conference will be conducted by representatives from the Department of Labor, Johnson Controls, Goodman Manufacturing, California Energy Commission (CEC), Fieldpiece Instruments, Shell Oil Company, Hamden Engineering, Training for the Trades, Toshiba International, ESCO Institute, Elite Software, Ferris State University, Green Mechanical Council, Delmar Publishing, Suffolk County Community College, Carbon Monoxide Safety Association (CMSA), United Association of the United States and Canada (UA), Mechanical Service Contractors Association of America (MSCA), Coscia Consulting, and more.

The 2008 workshops and focus groups include: “Direct Digital Controls,” “Electronically Commutated Motors (ECM),” “Customer Relations,” “Developing Power-Point Presentations,” “Pressure Enthalpy Without Tears,” “13 SEER and Beyond,” “Federal Accountability Legislation,” “Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential & Nonresidential Buildings (Title 24),” “Required Heat Loads and Heat Gains,” “The Use and Phaseout of HCFCs,” “An Economic Perspective on the Prospects for HVAC Technicians,” “Student Employment Opportunities with MSCA Companies,” “Motivational Techniques and Teaching Strategies,” “Articulation with the United Association,” “R-410A Safety and Training,” “What’s New in Trainers,” “Accountability (Accreditation, Assessment, Credentialing),” “Carbon Monoxide Testing (Limiting Liability),” “Green Awareness,” “Motor Efficiencies,” “Combustion Analysis and Fuel Efficiency,” “Modular Training Programs,” “Performance Testing,” and “Testing - The First Step in A/C Maintenance.”

With accountability as a key issue in today’s world of career and technical education, HVAC Excellence said its Certified Master HVAC Educator Credentialing exams (CMHE) will be offered to attendees at no charge.

“CMHE validates mastery in the subject areas necessary to teach the competencies required by students for success as technicians in an ever-changing industry,” said Weiss.

To accommodate the growing needs and request for credentialing, HVAC Excellence said it will provide credential testing on the afternoon of March 16, during registration hours, and on March 17, after all sessions have closed.

“This schedule will allow greater space for persons to take their various credentialing exams and not avoid having attendees chose between taking a credentialing exam and attending a session,” explained Weiss.

Weiss said anyone responsible for, or involved in, training the current and future workforce of the HVACR industry is invited to attend the conference. He said this includes educators, utility trainers, union trainers, supply house trainers, private trainers, manufacturing trainers, school administrators, and state administrators.

Conference registration fee is $189. Weiss said this covers admission to all seminars and breakout sessions, admission to all four general sessions, two breakfasts and two luncheons, and free testing for Certified Master HVACR Educator. Special hotel accommodations are available at the Imperial Palace at $79 per night.

For additional information or to register, visit www.hvacexcellence.org. For accommodation reservations, call 800-800-2981 and ask for the conference rate.

Publication date: 01/21/2008

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