None of us can possibly have any idea what this industry will look like or where it will be in 125 years, but you can take incremental steps to stay in front of the competition, get out ahead of changes to the marketplace, and decide which trends to follow.
Industry educators have told me over and over again that the younger techs entering the trades generally either possess the technical skills to do the job or can be trained in those skills easily enough, yet they often lack the ability to communicate effectively with the customer both in writing and in person.
Young people want to join a culture that matches their own aspirations. HVACR can be that place if the salt-and-pepper crowd would realize that, for some millennials, it is not so much about the day-to-day features and benefits of business as it is about being engaged with customers and being involved in the business.
Simply ensuring techs attend these industry events isn’t enough. It is also vitally important to make sure they are active participants in whatever discussions, activities, or thought-provoking exercises are taking place once they arrive.