Pass Down Trade Knowledge With the Tech Page

September 15, 2000
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I have been with The News for a short time now, and I have to say that this has been an eye-opening experience. I never saw myself writing for a trade publication or dealing with hvacr. Like most people, I knew that buildings were supposed to be cool in summer and warm in winter. That was the extent of my air conditioning and heating knowledge.

And like most people, before working for The News, I did not know about the state of the industry or what a career in hvacr entails. I took for granted that people need to service, install, and design hvacr equipment. I did not know that technicians could command great starting pay, or that people in the industry need to be extremely knowledgeable in math and mechanical reasoning.

In fact, I didn’t know there was a major shortage of qualified workers and that the industry needs 20,000 new technicians every year. But can you blame people outside the industry for not knowing these things? I say no. People are unaware of the industry because no one has taken the time to educate them.

Invade the High Schools

I remember sitting with my counselor in high school and discussing my future. That discussion was primarily focused on which university I would attend. There was never a mention of vocational or technical training, nor was there the option of not attending college at all.

I know for a fact that I was not the only one who sat across from my counselor with this one option presented to me. I remember my graduation and the list of graduating students with their post-high school plans printed in the program. I would guess 98% of those people were attending some kind of college or university.

I’m not bad-mouthing college; it was valuable and an enjoyable experience for me. But I can also tell you that a lot of people can’t say the same thing. I met people during my freshman year who disappeared the next school year. They either jumped from university to university, or just dropped out all together.

I can also tell you that I graduated from high school with people who did not want to go to a college, but went anyway because they were told it was the thing to do. These people are the ones who need to be caught before they waste their time and money going to a university they don’t want to attend.

College is not for everyone, and we need to dispel the myth that the white-collar desk job is the only way to be happy and have financial success. We need to educate counselors, teachers, parents, and students that the hvacr industry is not only a viable career option, but it could be a perfect fit for some people.

That is why The News has brought back its Tech Page.

The Tech Page

Our revamped Tech Page begins in this issue. Its goal is to provide valuable information to anyone starting a career in the industry, and to show those interested in starting a career what hvacr has to offer.

But first, these pages need to get to those people. So carefully tear out page 38, make copies of it, and pass it on to the high schools. Give it to your service techs or current students. Pass it on to any young people you know who are uncertain about their career goals. Do you know someone who has great math skills, mechanical aptitude, or who likes to think out problems? Pass the Tech Page on to them.

In the months to come, The News would like to reach this audience as much as possible. Of course, we need the help of our readers to do this. Let us know about your ideas on how to get others interested in hvacr. Your suggestions can be included in future Tech Pages.

In the months to come, The News would like to reach this audience as much as possible. Of course, we need the help of our readers to do this. Let us know about your ideas on how to get others interested in hvacr. Your suggestions can be included in future Tech Pages.

I have been fortunate to work with contractors and instructors who have great ideas and a vested interest in the industry. We need to see this enthusiasm carried over to our Tech Page. Your ideas may just be the solution. But remember, these ideas need to be put in print and passed along.

If you have the opportunity to pass along multiple copies of the Tech Page, please contact me by phone, fax or e-mail (listed below).

Siegel is training & education editor. He can be reached at 248-244-1731; 248-362-0317 (fax); siegelj@bnp.com (e-mail).

Publication date: 09/18/2000

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