The HVAC industry is pooling resources to attract more young people to our aging industry with the formation of the HVACR Workforce Development Foundation. When I heard the news, my response was, “It’s about time.”
This new group, according to an announcement from AHRI, “will work to raise awareness of the industry, attract new members to the workforce, and enhance the quality of the available workforce in the industry.” The foundation includes AHRI, AMCA, ASHRAE, HARDI, HRAI of Canada, PHCC, and RSES. It will market HVACR careers to federal and state education and labor departments, and technical schools. Additionally, it will educate school principals, counselors, and teachers about HVACR career opportunities.
The timing for this new venture couldn’t be better. Our industry needs talent, but we have not done a good job of telling the available talent pool of young people about all the opportunities for a rewarding career. It is ironic that we are complaining about not having enough qualified technicians at a time when, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate of 20-24 year olds is 13.2 percent. Male unemployment in this same age group is even higher at 14.1 percent.
I hope this new group is successful in convincing this new generation that working in the HVAC industry is cool.