Articles by Kimberly Schwartz

Sweda Named Best Instructor

November 8, 2010
When Jeff Sweda, HVAC and plumbing instructor, walks the halls of the Hazleton Area Career Center, he seems to know everyone by name. He nods at many of the students and jokes around with many others. But Sweda also commands their respect. By the time they are seniors, many of them have figured out that Sweda is trying to teach them more than just a trade.
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Prepared to Aid Student Success

November 8, 2010
Preparation is the name of the game for Guadalupe Hernandez, an instructor at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas. “The best thing I’ve done is be well prepared for my instruction, not to walk in and start shooting off the hip,” he said.
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Contractors Branch Out to Beat Economy

November 8, 2010
Most of the contractors The NEWS has interacted with in recent months are still talking about the recession and how they’re handling its effects on their business. One way both small and large contractors are surviving the harsh economic climate is by branching out to offer new product lines and services to current customers.
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Serving Students and the Community

November 8, 2010
At Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Ill., Joe Thomas encourages his students to ask questions. He works hard to build a relationship of trust with them so that they feel comfortable enough to talk to him and ask questions.
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Water Heaters Sizzle With Opportunity

November 8, 2010
As new technologies are being developed and applied to the once less-than-glamorous water heater, consumers are becoming more aware of this product. Instead of being an afterthought, the water heater is gaining consumer recognition due to the efficiencies that can be achieved by the newer units.
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Driving the Adoption of Thermal Storage

November 8, 2010
Energy use - and how to cut back on it - is a hot topic these days. As more consumers seek ways to lower their utility bills and reduce their environmental footprint, contractors need to be prepared to offer them new energy solutions. One solution that is gaining popularity across the commercial market is ice thermal storage.
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Do You Test for Trustworthy Techs?

October 28, 2010
While visiting a contractor in Pennsylvania last week, I was told that it is getting harder than ever to find good technicians. But this contractor wasn’t worried about a lack of skilled workers.
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Be Sure to Speak Your Customer's Language

October 11, 2010
It’s not the job of your customers to know industry lingo. How often do you rattle off terms like “AFUE” or “audit” without pausing to explain them? The real question is: After talking to you or your sales staff, do people feel confused and frightened, or educated and excited?
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You Can't Pick Your Weather - Or Your Economy

October 5, 2010
I only had one free Saturday morning in October to go raspberry picking. But on the morning that I had made plans to go, I woke up to the sound of rain.
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25C Tax Credits Expiring Soon

October 4, 2010
The 25C residential tax credits are set to expire on Dec. 31, 2010. According to a variety of sources, these credits have had a significant impact on the HVAC industry, and have particularly aided sales of high-end, high-efficiency equipment. Some in the industry are worried that expiration of the credits will drastically reduce HVAC sales and are urging extension of 25C.
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