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Skaer Tactics: Will We Ever Totally Unite?

October 1, 2007
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I’ve said it more than once, but I’ll say it again: This industry is far, far too fragmented.

Don’t get me wrong. Contractor, manufacturer, and wholesale/distributor associations and organizations show a heckuva lot more unity today than, say, 10 years ago. Case in point: the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s (ACCA’s) annual meeting, which has not only grown larger over the past few years, but continues to draw contractors and manufacturers closer together (in my opinion). Steps are definitely going in the right direction overall, though those steps might be too slow for my blood. (Patience is a virtue, right?)

While I see unity increasing, there is still room for improvement. For instance, it’s good to see that HVAC Excellence now offers a national educators and trainers conference. At its second annual event in March 2008, Dr. Patricia Stanley, deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Education, will be among the featured speakers.

The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), on the other hand, has been holding annual gatherings for HVACR instructors for several years, and other associations - including ACCA, Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), and Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCC) - are now in ARI’s fold, helping and sponsoring the annual gathering of teachers.

Just a thought, but wouldn’t it be grand for all HVACR instructors to have one, unified gathering, rather than debating on which conference one should attend? It makes sense to me, but may never happen.
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Educator's Conference

John Borland
October 2, 2007
Every August the United Association (UA) holds its educator conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It provided a week long series of classes and meetings for Union trainers and educators. More than 1,900 were in attendance. It is understandable that they want their own conference. In addition to the UA, HVAC Excellence and ARI National HVAC educator conferences held each year, there are a number of local, state and regional conferences.

United Association Instructor Training Program

Steven H. Allen
October 4, 2007
Mark, I will be sending you an email shortly with all my contact information and an invitation to attend the 2008 UA Instructor Training Program. Also, I would be glad to meet with you to discuss The UA's HVACR training & technician certification programs, our new HVACR Associate Degree, and 5 STAR Careers, our new HVACR Service Technician recruitment program. Thanks, Steve Senior Consultant HVACR Education & Recruitment United Association

Thanks for the information.

Mark Skaer
October 4, 2007
John, I appreciate you informing me and all NEWS readers regarding the UA educator conference. It is good to see and know that over 1,900 were in attendance. Maybe The NEWS can attend the 2008 UA educator conference. I assume one would have to get an invitation from UA accordingly. We'll see if The NEWS cannot make that happen for next year. Thanks for reading this blog. (And, please continue reading.)

Received Steve Allen's e-mail...Thanks

Mark Skaer
October 5, 2007
Steve Allen, I will contact you sometime in the near future regarding the invitation to attend the 2008 UA Instructor Training Program. We can discuss, at that time, other UA-related education items. Thanks for thinking of The NEWS and spread the word regarding this blog. It is much appreciated.

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