Eleven HVACR and plumbing industry associations were represented at the first HVACR Industry Alliance Education and Training Staff Summit held in Washington, D.C. The summit, held June 12, was conceived and sponsored by the alliance, an organization of the major HVACR and plumbing associations’ chief staff officers. At the summit, association representatives explored common areas of products and programs serving to train HVACR and plumbing professionals, and to establish joint efforts where applicable.

Don Frendberg of Heating, Airconditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) and chair of the HVACR Industry Alliance, was happy with the discussions and efforts from those present.

“We have a great deal of talent and innovative thinking among our collective associations,” he said. “Rather than constantly going in separate directions and duplicating efforts, we brought together the creative talents of our education and training staff members and asked them to be creative in the ways we can all work together.”

One major thrust of the summit was to design career recruitment programs that could be used industry-wide by all members of the alliance. As a result of this first-of-its-kind meeting, several working task forces were established to look at common efforts on a variety of areas, including:

• Developing materials that could be used by individuals and groups who are working to save an HVACR or plumbing educational program threatened closure due to a lack of funding.

• Developing materials that could be used by individuals and groups who are working to establish a new HVACR or plumbing educational program.

Paul Stalknecht, president and CEO of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), as well as vice chair of the alliance, sees good results with alliance input.

“Dedicated efforts towards workforce development and career recruitment are one of the founding principles of the alliance, and we need to present a unified message in both these areas,” he said. “The work coming out of the HVACR Industry Alliance Education and Training Summit will enable us to aggressively do that.”

Publication date:08/18/2008