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Skaer-Tactics: Local RETA Chapter Does the Right Thing

October 20, 2008
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A few weeks ago in this blog, I was happy to report that Grainger had stepped up to the tech shortage plate by increasing its technical education scholarship program. I’d now like to point out a positive gesture from the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA), specifically the Southeast Pennsylvania chapter.

These good folks pitched in to help pay for the cost to send all HVACR students at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology to RETA’s annual convention, held recently in Lancaster, Pa., the college’s hometown. Students were able to attend the training sessions offered at the gathering, plus had the opportunity to explore the offerings on the exhibition floor.

“I knew that our students would get a very special opportunity at networking with major players of our industry and gain valuable insight into the opportunities this trade provides,” Steve Phyillaier, associate professor of HVACR at the college, told The NEWS.

“As you well know, it is sometimes hard to get young people excited about the unknown and my students were no exception when I told them this was a required field trip.”

But, Phyillaier is very pleased to report that every one of his students came back excited and very thankful for the opportunity that the local chapter provided them.

The bottom line is simple: Every little bit helps. And, I concur with Phyillaier, who believes this same financial gesture and association input must be repeated over and over in this trade.

After all, we must get people in the trade exposed to the equipment and technology used in this industry.
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Not all thats cracked up to be

Secret HVAC Tech
August 30, 2009
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology is a wonderful school however the HVAC/R program is very insufficient in preparing students for a career in the field. I am a graduate so it pains me to say this but it is true. I struggled for years in the field because I was ill-equiped for the high technical rigors that face a field tech. I believe that the college and perspective students would benefit if the two current instructors stepped down and allowed for a new team of young professionals to step in and breath energy into a shamefully tired training setting. The current instructors are tenured and have no real interest in helping advance a young mind into our vocation. It does not help that the president of R.E.T.A, Pat West is an ego maniac either. He is but another example of poor, inefficient, near-sighted leadership that plague the training environment in our field.

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