VALLEY FORGE, Pa. - CertainTeed Corp. recently joined fellow Pennsylvania-based HVAC distributors Air Handling Services Inc. and Riley Sales Inc. to teach local vocational students about energy-efficient HVAC duct design. Led by top professionals in the area who volunteered their time, knowledge, and materials, the course teaches students about duct design and fabrication that follows industry standards.

More than 150 students from area schools have participated in the training sessions at Lehigh Career and Technical Institute in Schnecksville, Pa. These students are now tasked with taking their newfound knowledge to the lower classmen at their respective programs where they will train using materials donated by CertainTeed. In all, more than 500 students will benefit from the session. Another training session was also held at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa.

The training is a daylong course on duct board that provides students with practical information on duct design from the perspective of the contractor, distributor, and manufacturer. The broad scope of the training will help the students to better understand the HVAC business while building their resumes.

“This comprehensive program is a wonderful gesture on the part of the local business community and a terrific opportunity for our students,” said Craig Berkowitz, instructor at Lehigh Career and Technical Institute. “The students were engaged throughout the session and eager for the information the trainers were so amply providing.”

Spearheading the program is Mike Bergen, president of Air Handling Services.

“It’s important for those who are building duct systems to understand the basics so they can ensure that the fundamental need for energy efficiency is met by all parts of the system,” he said. “HVAC programs at secondary and post-secondary schools give short shrift to duct design and fabrication, despite it being a much-needed skill. This is partially due to the fact that training in HVAC programs focuses primarily on equipment instead of the system and partially to consumable materials being too expensive for schools. If it wasn’t for the generosity of CertainTeed, this training would not have taken place.”

For more information, visit

Publication date:08/10/2009