A former Navy man who has been in the HVAC industry for 29 years - 24 of them teaching - Goater began his teaching career part time. After stints with Honeywell and teaching adult education classes, he landed a full-time instructor position with Isaac University in 2002, a division of Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning, of Rochester, N.Y.
The program at Isaac University is 404 hours. Upon completion, students receive certification from North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the Industry Competency Exam (ICE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Rheem Contour, and TracPipe.
Goater’s average student is between 23 and 27 years old. They usually come to him with no experience. Once hired by Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning, students are automatically enrolled in the private college dealing with residential and light commercial heating and air conditioning. “I have the best of all worlds here,” said Goater. “I work with the cream of the crop.”
Everyday he works with students from 7 to 9 a.m. Classes are 60 percent lecture and theory-based and 40 percent hands-on labs. Developed over the past three years, the current program is accredited by Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA). It not only incorporates industry standards, but also the specific training needs of Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning.
Goater’s favorite module is the Introduction to Air Conditioning course. According to Goater, most don’t know air conditioning and refrigeration or they have learned it wrong. “I get a real charge out of them learning how refrigeration works,” said Goater.
Along with his teaching duties, Goater is involved in many other activities. As part of the management team at Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning, he is the go-to guy, especially for electrical questions. “I have the codebooks, I get the questions,” said Goater.
NATE currently certifies him for all install and service programs being offered. He holds EPA Universal Certification and the Occupation Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) 10- and 30-hour trainer certificate.
Even with all these activities and challenges, “My biggest challenge is not letting anyone fall through the cracks,” said Goater. “I try not to leave anyone behind.”
This day and age, there doesn’t seem to be much appreciation for the trades, according to Goater. Across the country high school technical program budgets are suffering. Goater said that the local community college is suffering much the same fate. He considers himself fortunate to be working in an environment where the students and management are extremely supportive of the HVAC education effort.
We are sure that Isaac University considers itself to be equally fortunate to have such a dedicated instructor.
QUICK STATSBEST INSTRUCTOR: HONORABLE MENTION
COLLEGE OR SCHOOL:Isaac University